“What rules do we play by?” is the question we’ve followed in our bibliometric study which has just been published in the renowned journal Research Policy. Given the growing importance of journal rankings in academic performance management, it is relevant to researchers and managers alike whether there are certain characteristics of publications that are more prevalent the higher a journal is ranked. Our paper examines how tangible and adaptable characteristics of papers vary between different rating categories of journals and what the drivers of publication in journals at the top of rankings are. We build on a bibliometric analysis of more than 85,000 papers published in 168 management and business journals as rated in 18 popular journal rankings. Results refute some often repeated but rarely substantiated criticisms of journal rankings. Contrary to many voices, we find that interdisciplinarity and innovativeness are positively associated with publication in highly ranked journals. In other respects, our results support more critical assumptions, such as a widespread preference for quantitative methods. By providing more evidence on the implicit standards of journal rankings, this study expands on the understanding of what intended or unintended incentives they provide and how to use them responsibly.
Last call for applications for the 11th International Research Workshop “Methods for PhD” in Flensburg/Sankelmark (Germany) and Kolding (Denmark). The workshop takes place on September 10-15 and offers a wide range of courses, among them grounded theory, panel data analyses, statistical analyses with R, and academic writing. Find the full program and contact information here or on this weblog.
I just came across this beautiful website on which Northeastern University’s Barabasi Lab created an interactive visualization of Roberta Sinatra and colleagues’ paper “Quantifying the Evolution of Individual Scientific Impact”. The paper argues that scientists’ most impactful publications (as measured by citations) could occur at any point in their career. The authors base their argument on a large-scale bibliographic dataset containing publications of more than 10,000 scientists in different disciplines.
The visualization looks like a life-line for an individual scientist’s work (picture on the left) or an ocean with wave peaks and valleys for whole disciplines (picture on the right). It is striking how the overall disciplinary patterns look very similar – at least when they are corrected for absolute citation counts. The authors found that impact is randomly distributed within a scientist’s career. So, if you haven’t published an impactful paper yet, don’t give up – it might just be the next one.
Pictures are screenshots from the website: http://scienceofsuccess.barabasilab.com/
There’s also a short clip about the project on youtube:
The LEAD Graduate School & Research Network at Eberhard Karls University Tübingen (Nicole Tieben) and the Division of Empirical Educational and Higher Education Research at the Freie Universität Berlin (Martin Neugebauer) invite interested higher education researchers to apply for a two-day workshop in propensity score matching and event history modeling in higher education research.
The workshop takes place on 14-15 September 2017 at the Free University Berlin. The application deadline is July 27th, 2017. The workshop is funded by the BMBF. Visit the hompage for more information.
Scientometrics published our article Editorial governance and journal impact: a study of management and business journals. It examines how characteristics of editors, in particular the diversity of editorial teams, are related to journal impact. Our sample comprises 2244 editors who were affiliated with 645 volumes of 138 business and management journals. Results show that multiple editorships and editors’ affiliation to institutions of high reputation are positively related to journal impact, while the length of editors’ terms is negatively associated with impact scores. Surprisingly, we find that diversity of editorial teams in terms of gender and nationality is largely unrelated to journal impact. Our study extends the scarce knowledge on editorial teams and their relevance to journal impact by integrating different strands of literature and studying several demographic factors simultaneously.
The Institute for Higher Education Management at the Vienna University of Economics and Business (Prof. Dr. Barbara Sporn) is currently inviting applications for a fulltime Assistant Professor, non-tenure track position (post-doc) or two 30 hours/week Teaching and Research Associate positions (pre-doc). These employee positions will be limited to a period of 6 years, starting on June 1, 2017 (commencement date subject to change).
Application materials can be submitted online until May 24, 2017.
The Graduate School of the interdisciplinary Leibniz Center Science and Society (LCSS) at the Leibniz Universität Hannover is searching for PhD candidates who want to earn a PhD in the field of Science Studies or Higher Education Research. The Graduate School is cooperating closely with the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW). The LCSS Graduate School invites interested candidates to apply for one of six funded PhD positions (E13 65% for 36 months). The positions start on October 1st, 2017. Deadline for applications is on June 3rd 2017. For more information, see the call for applications in German or the call for applications in English.
The scientific commission higher education management (WK HSM) has released the program of this year’s annual workshop. The main theme is about third party funding. Other topics include performance management, young scholars, and university governance. Our team contributes two papers to the workshop. Isabel Boegner’s paper on socialization of doctoral students and Rick’s and mine on performance indicators in academia. Follow the links to find the full program and registration form.
Together with other selected contributions from the last workshop higher education management, the German journal “Hochschulmanagement” (higher education management) published our paper “Open post-publication-peer-review: an alternative to double-blind reviews in academic journals?”.
The study contributes to the discussion about alternative forms of scientific communication by evaluating the actual dissemination as well as the potential use of open post-publication-peer-review (OPR). The study is based on survey data with a sample of 2.800 authors of academic papers. Results show that only one third of respondents believe that OPR is useful for enhancing the operative reliability of review processes. The advantages of OPR discussed in the literature are only relevant for the general willingness of authors to publish with OPR in principal. However, when it comes to actual publication decisions (open vs. blind peer review), these potential advantages are only of minor importance for the selection of an appropriate journal (with the exception of heterodox research which indeed seems to benefit from OPR). Instead, the choice between the different channels of scientific communication is based on institutionalized aspects (legitimacy, quality, design of the systems) and behavioral considerations (expected negative group dynamics and increased workload of OPR). Within the limitations of our dataset, we conclude that the current potential of OPR to solve the problems of traditional double-blind proesses is limited.
We’re co-hosting the upcoming conference of the Scientific Commission Higher Education Management (Wissenschaftliche Kommission Hochschulmanagement im VHB) on February 21-22, 2017 at the HSU Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg.
Abstracts (max. 1000 words excluding references) of articles dealing with the management of higher education institutions can be submitted until December 23rd 2016. The main topic is “Third party funding in higher education”. But there is also the possibility to submit papers in other areas of interest, among them:
- New forms of governance of universities
- Measurability of research performance
- Open access, social media, and ctizen science
- Peer evaluation, performance indicators, and rankings
- Autonomy of science
For further information see the call for papers (only in German).
I know, publication bias is not a new topic but it is still of high relevance. I found some very interesting results in a study from Annie Franco, Neil Malhotra, Gabor Simonovits published in Science (19 Sep 2014, Vol. 345, Issue 6203, pp. 1502-1505): Publication bias in the social sciences: Unlocking the file drawer. According to the authors, “only 10 out of 48 null results were published, whereas 56 out of 91 studies with strongly significant results made it into a journal.” The following figure summarizes the results:
The pattern is quite remarkable. The majority of evidence that does not support any hypothesized relationship is not even written-up in the first place. So there’s reason for doubt that special platforms or journals who publish papers with contrary findings – as it is regularly discussed for overcoming publication bias – will significantly increase the number of null results published.
A colleague just sent me a link to a hilarious weblog that collects the best comments from reviewers. You might want to remember these quotes when you read your next reviews….
The Chair of Organization and Management at the University of Hamburg invites applications for a Research Associate (PhD student). Our new team member commences his/her studies in our reesearch project IndiKon and continues after approximately one year in a state-funded position as a lecturer with teaching responsibilities. The position is initially fixed for three years and remunerated at the salary level TV-L 13 and calls for 75% of standard work hours per week.
Core research areas are: organization theory, public sector professionals, organizational rules, behavioral decision theory. The position commences on 1 October 2016 or at the earliest possible date. If you are interested, please send your applications by August 31 2016. You will find additional information and contact details here: Information in English / Information in German.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Governing universities is a multi-level as well as a highly paradoxical endeavor. The featured studies in this book examine critically the multifaceted repercussions of changing governance logics and how contradictory demands for scholarly peer control, market responsiveness, public policy control, and democratization create governance paradoxes. While a large body of academic literature has been focusing on the external governance of universities, this book shifts the focus on organizations’ internal characteristics, thus contributing to a deeper understanding of the changing governance in universities.
The book follows exigent calls for getting back to the heart of organization theory when studying organizational change and turns attention to strategies, structures, and control mechanisms as distinctive but interrelated elements of organizational designs. We take a multi-level approach to explore how universities develop strategies in order to cope with changes in their institutional environment (macro level), how universities implement these strategies in their structures and processes (meso level), and how universities design mechanisms to control the behavior of their members (micro level). As universities are highly complex knowledge-based organizations, their modus operandi, i.e. governing strategies, structures, and controls, needs to be responsive to the multiplicity of demands coming from both inside and outside the organization.
Volume 47 of Springer’s Higher Education Dynamics Series advances higher education research by gathering distinguished scholars with an academic background in management and organization studies and a research interest in the dynamics of university governance. Among them are JC Spender, Mats Alvesson, Alfred Kieser, and many more.
As empirical social scientists, we are always looking for relationships between different phenomena. However, we need to be very careful which variables we include in our empirical models. For example, Spector and Brannick (2011) point out that common control variables (e.g., age or size of an organization) are often rather included because of “methodological urban legends” than for theoretical reasons. Therefore, many significant findings denote unobserved relationships or just correlate by chance.
I just came across a website which collects spurious correlations – just in case anyone needs further arguments, why a relationship should be established conceptually first.
Source: Spector, P. E., & Brannick, M. T. (2011). Methodological urban legends: The misuse of statistical control variables. Organizational Research Methods.
The 2016 Technology Transfer Society (T2S) Conference will be held from November 3-5, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. The conference theme is on Innovative Mechanisms for the Exchange of New Knowledge. Contributions may include the following areas:
- Research Centers, Groups and Team Dynamics
- University R&D Collaborations
- Ethical and Normative Issues in Technology Transfer and Research Collaboration
- Academic Entrepreneurship
- Public Sector Entrepreneurship
- Knowledge-based Entrepreneurship support policies and programs
- Models of University Technology Transfer
Submission deadline for session proposals (1-2 pages) or research abstracts (300-500 words) is on July 1, 2016. Find more information on the conference website.
This year’s EFMD Higher Education Research Conference will take place at IESE Business School Barcelona on October 10-11, 2016. The main focus is on “Innovation in Higher Education” and the organizing committee invites submissions to the following areas: (1) Innovations in forms of governance, management and organisation of higher education institutions, (2) Innovations in education, or (3) Innovations in research.
The Economic Policy Research Group and the INCHER Kassel are hosting a workshop on “Scientists’ Careers Inside and Outside the University”. It takes place on June 27-28 2016 at the Science Park of the University of Kassel. The workshop brings together international scholars with a research interest in academic personnel development. I’ll present results from a survey, asking “How important is the junior professorship? Self-reported success factors of academic careers in four scientific fields”. Attendance to the workshop is free. Click here for more information.
The German Rectors’ Conference (“Hochschulrektorenkonferenz“, HRK) is looking for interns at its EU-office in Brussels, Belgium. This service is a great opportunity for students or early career researchers to experience the work in European higher education politics. Find the job add here (only in German).