Oct 21, 2010

Anonymous journal articles

Bruno Frey, a brilliant economist who has extended economics beyond standard neo-classics by including insights from political science, psychology and sociology, has a new paper complaining about the direction academic research is taking, namely the rankings mania, increased division of labor in research, intense publication pressure, academic fraud, and the dilution of the concept of “university”. One of his suggestions is to publish scientific contributions anonymously. "After all, it should not matter who wrote an article but only whether its content enlarges our knowledge."

Would that really work?


Sebastian said...

I share some of the ideas but I am surprised by such a statement. If it were truly anonymous what is the incentive for an individual to do brilliant research (apart form his/her private interest in the topic which would not motivate to make it available to others nor present ideas in a manner which is accessible for others)? Isn't that what Rigotnomics teaches us? Once you know which outcome you want figure out the incentives which most likely bring you there: a zero reward does not seem to be the right approach

Cam said...

If this system is introduced, can I sign my rubbish PhD papers as anonymous??

But seriously, I totally agree with Seb - academic advancement is by writing great journal articles. How would professors advance under such a system. And why would you become a prof if you didn't get the satisfaction of putting your name on something?