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Explaining why scientists from different countries have unequal success in publishing their research

University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
DOI: 10.18258/53605
Grant: Metascience
$10,000
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About This Project

New scientific findings are usually made visible through publishing in peer reviewed scientific journals. It has been long-observed that the editors and reviewers evaluating submissions to these journals give substantially better evaluations to scientists from Western rather than non-Western countries. Why? This project will investigate the causes of global disparities in publishing success using administrative data from a major scientific publishing company.

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What is the context of this research?

New scientific findings are usually made visible through publishing in peer reviewed journals. It has been long-observed that the editors and reviewers evaluating submissions to these journals tend to give substantially better evaluations to scientists from Western rather than non-Western countries. Why?

What is the significance of this project?

Understanding who publishes in scientific journals is equivalent to understanding whose ideas become "facts" and whose ideas remain invisible. Consequently, it is important to understand whether the publishing system is biased towards scientists from particular regions, such as Western countries. It is also important to understand how the bias, if any, can be mitigated. Our project focuses on whether there is bias in how authors are assigned to reviewers. Preliminary evidence shows that authors from Western countries are much more likely to be assigned to reviewers from their own country, and such reviewers happen to be systematically more favorable.

What are the goals of the project?

Our goals are to examine whether the scientific publishing system is biased towards authors from particular countries, and if such bias exists, how it can be mitigated.

Budget

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This funding will support graduate students working on this projects. The money will go to paying for part of their tuition, stipend, and expenses for traveling to present this research at conferences.

Project Timeline

Our research team is about half-way through the project and has produced some preliminary findings. We expect to finish the project in about another year.

Sep 01, 2023

Create a full draft of the research paper

Oct 01, 2023

Present the research, revise the paper

Nov 01, 2023

Submit the paper for publication

Meet the Team

Misha Teplitskiy
Misha Teplitskiy
Assistant Professor
James M. Zumel Dumlao
James M. Zumel Dumlao
PhD Student

Affiliates

University of Michigan School of Information
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Misha Teplitskiy

I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan School of Information. I study the drivers of scientific discovery, in particular how scientists communicate with one another.

James M. Zumel Dumlao

I am a second-year PhD Student at the University of Michigan School of Information. Broadly, I use computational social science techniques to tackle questions that require interdisciplinary approaches. My research interests are in knowledge and cultural production, science of science, and science and technology public policy. More specifically, I'm interested in the cultural and cognitive factors that inspire the creation of new knowledge, as well as policies that promote novel and useful science.

Lab Notes

Nothing posted yet.

Additional Information

The data comprise the submission histories of about 170,000 paper submissions to 60 journals in the physical sciences, including who submitted them, who reviewed them, and whether they were accepted.


Project Backers

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