from Lars Syll
By the early 1980s it was already common knowledge among people I hung out with that the only way to get non-crazy macroeconomics published was to wrap sensible assumptions about output and employment in something else, something that involved rational expectations and intertemporal stuff and made the paper respectable. And yes, that was conscious knowledge, which shaped the kinds of papers we wrote.
More or less says it all, doesn’t it?
And for those of us who do not want to play according these sickening hypocritical rules — well, here’s one good alternative.
Papers submitted to the World Economic Review (WER) that meet minimum standards of professional quality are posted on the journal’s Discussion Forum in order to solicit comments and discussions. The Forum’s home page says:
You are invited to comment on these papers.
Comments can range from short remarks to full reviews. We encourage you to be frank, but polite. As a rule, commentators should give their name. If they fear hurting their relationship with authors, they can use an alias, which has to be clearly recognizable as such. Editors will vet comments before publication to make sure appropriate and comprehensible language is used and that they are substantive comments relating to the content of the paper at hand. Standards of fairness will be particularly high if an alias is used.
Preciously there was a navigation problem (now corrected) from the WEA homepage that may have prevented you from taking part. Below is a linked list of some papers recently posted for open review that you might wish to consider. Read more…
Yesterday the first issue of Economic Thought was published by the World Economics Association. Already within 24 hours the journal’s number of downloads, over 3,000, was beyond the dreams of many academic journal editors. From the contents page below you may download the whole issue, individual papers and also abstracts.
Volume 1, Number 1 (2012)
Table of Contents
|Editorial Introduction to the First Issue of Economic Thought||Download PDF|
|Mathematical Modelling and Ideology in the Economics Academy: competing explanations of the failings of the modern discipline?||Download PDF|
|Economics and Research Assessment Systems||Download PDF|
|Richard Cantillon’s Early Monetary Views?||Download PDF|
|Richard van den Berg|
|Different Approaches to the Financial Crisis||Download PDF|
|Sheila C Dow|
|On the Limits of Rational Choice Theory||Download PDF|
|Geoffrey M. Hodgson|
|An Evolutionary Efficiency Alternative to the Notion of Pareto Efficiency||Download PDF|
|Irene van Staveren|
from Edward Fullbrook
In case you have not been watching this Spring’s coming, since the spectacular Harvard development of two weeks ago, another large tree, the UK government, has bloomed. Its Minister of State for Universities and Science announced last week that beginning in the near future all UK publicly funded academic research will be available on the Web free of charge to anyone anywhere in the world. This is not a politician’s pipe dream; Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, has already been hired to set it up.
In effect, the right-of-centre government minister said enough is enough, that this is a business model too odious to be tolerated. No longer will The Big Five (Elsevier, Wiley, Springer, Sage and Francis and Taylor) be allowed to stop society from freely accessing research funded by the UK taxpayer.
What, when combined with Harvard’s, are the implications of this new initiative? Six points come to mind. Read more…
from Edward Fullbrook
7 May, Academic Spring: phase two
The world campaign to stop the annual siphoning of billions of dollars of taxpayer and charitable funds from research and education into the coffers of Elsevier, Springer and Wiley reached a major threshold yesterday.
from Edward Fullbrook
Few large circulation periodicals are more rightwing and committed to defending corporate interests than The Economist. But below is the opening paragraph from an editorial in their print edition.
PUBLISHING obscure academic journals is that rare thing in the media industry: a licence to print money. An annual subscription to Tetrahedron, a chemistry journal, will cost your university library $20,269; a year of the Journal of Mathematical Sciences will set you back $20,100. In 2011 Elsevier, the biggest academic-journal publisher, made a profit of £768m ($1.2 billion) on revenues of £2.1 billion. Such margins (37%, up from 36% in 2010) are possible because the journals’ content is largely provided free by researchers, and the academics who peer-review their papers are usually unpaid volunteers. The journals are then sold to the very universities that provide the free content and labour. For publicly funded research, the result is that the academics and taxpayers who were responsible for its creation have to pay to read it. This is not merely absurd and unjust; it also hampers education and research. Read more…
The WEA’s forum for the open review of proposed articles for the World Economics Journal and for Economic Thought is now open. It is located at http://discussion.worldeconomicsassociation.org/. 19 submissions have been posted so far. You are encouraged to read and comment on papers that interest you.
The WEA’s first online conference – “ Economics in Society: The Ethical Dimension ” – is now set to begin on March 1st. The cut-off date for submissions (a wide diversity of papers has already been received) is February 19th. For details, go to http://weaethicsconference.wordpress.com/. Leave your email address and you will be kept informed.
from David Ruccio
Just this past semester, students in one of my classes wanted to know why they hadn’t been taught anything about economic methodology or the history of economic thought in any of the other courses they’d taken in economics.
Once upon a time, academic job vacancies for economists focused on filling holes in teaching plans and a promotion was assured if one was prolific, had established a good external reputation and had done one’s bit in collegial terms. Nowadays, things work very differently and real-world economists need to know how to play the game (often against those trained extensively in game theory) in order to get a foot on the career ladder and step up it. In this post I reflect on how things have changed and how real-world economists can try to improve their competitive edge Read more…
Here is a Google translation of a French article that appears today at http://www.snesup.fr/Presse-et-documentation?aid=5960&ptid=5 , Syndicat national de l’enseignement supérieur.
Economists deaf, dumb magazines?
If journals have little interest in the crisis, it is basically because the rating system encourages faculty members to focus on abstraction. Read more…
Welcome to the first digital ranking of economics journals. As research and its dissemination become increasingly digitally based, a digital impact ranking of journals seems overdue – hence this undertaking, which includes 307 English economic journals.
The first column shows the journal’s ranking. The second column, the impact factors, shows the number of hits Google Advanced Search turns up for the journal title as listed when placed in the “exact wording or phrase” box (e. g. “american economic review “). Some journal titles, for example “Economic Theory “, do not lend themselves to a direct search. Where a word in purple proceeded by + appears after the title, the score was generated by Google Advanced Search with the word “journal” and the title of the journal entered in the “exact wording or phrase” box. Where a word in pink preceded by – appears after the title, pages that included that word were not included in the advanced search. Other search anomalies are explained in the list. A few journals were omitted from the ranking process because no way was found adequately to isolate digital references to them. Read more…
from David Ruccio
The explosion of new scholarly journals, together with the shrinking of the number of academic journal publishers and the “qualification inflation” taking palce within the corporate university, poses important issues for scholars interested in where and how their work is published and disseminated. Read more…
from Grazia Ietto-Gillies
The debate on alternatives to the Peer Review system for the assessment of research has been going on for a little while and it is nice to see it has now hit the New York Times. It was highlighted in this blog by David Ruccio who raises the issue of how tenure and research funds can be allocated in the absence of a Peer Review system.
In my 2008 paper ‘A XXI-century alternative to XX-century peer review” real-world economics review, 45: 10-22, March www.paecon.net/PAEReview/issue45/IettoGillies45 I deal with similar issues and propose an alternative system to Peer Review, one that utilized the digital technologies while avoiding some of the pitfalls of Peer Review. Read more…
from David Ruccio
Here’s a video interview [ht: eo] with former Fed Governor and current Columbia University professor Frederic Stanley “Rick” Mishkin (apparently a clip from the “Inside Job“) in which he admits to writing a research paper, in return for $124,000 from the Icelandic Chamber of Commerce, celebrating the “prudential regulation and supervision” of Icelandic banks. That was just before the banks crashed and many of the bankers fled the country.
And I’m supposed to teach my students about ethics and intellectual honesty?!!
from David Ruccio
Academic publishing is changing quickly and involves many different forms of production, from backroom cottage-industries to multinational capitalist corporations. And no one knows exactly where it’s all headed. Publishers themselves (at least in my experience) are as much at a loss as the rest of us.
from Donald Gillies
For the last five years I have been conducting research into the effects of research assessment systems such as the research assessment exercise and the research excellence framework in the UK. There are now plans to introduce similar systems in other countries such as France and Italy. My first paper on this subject was published in the post-autistic economics review in 2006 (http://www.paecon.net/PAEReview/issue37/Gillies37.htm), and in December 2008, to coincide with the results of the last UK research assessment exercise, I published a book on this subject entitled: How Should Research be Organised? This is available here at amazon.co.uk and here at amazon.com.
The main result of my research is that research assessment systems have a systematic tendency to decrease the quality of the research output. Read more…
Fred Lee, the much-loved founder of the Heterodox Economics Newsletter, is stepping down as its editor. In his final editor’s message he offers non-neoclassical economists the following advice. Read more…