Do Academic Journals Favor Researchers from Their Own Institutions?

Harvard Business Review: “Are academic journals impartial? While many would suggest that academic journals work for the advancement of knowledge and science, we show this is not always the case. In a recent study, we find that two international relations (IR) journals favor articles written by authors who share the journal’s institutional affiliation. We term this phenomenon “academic in-group bias.” In-group bias is a well-known phenomenon that is widely documented in the psychological literature. People tend to favor their group, whether it is their close family, their hometown, their ethnic group, or any other group affiliation. Before our study, the evidence regarding academic in-group bias was scarce, with only one study finding academic in-group bias in law journals. Studies from economics found mixed results. Our paper provides evidence of academic in-group bias in IR journals, showing that this phenomenon is not specific to law. We also…

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