Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-2016

Abstract

Learned societies commonly carry out selection processes to add new fellows to an existing fellowship. Criteria vary across societies but are typically based on subjective judgments concerning the merit of individuals who are nominated for fellowships. These subjective assessments may be made by existing fellows as they vote in elections to determine the new fellows or they may be decided by a selection committee of fellows and officers of the society who determine merit after reviewing nominations and written assessments. Human judgment inevitably plays a central role in these determinations and, notwithstanding its limitations, is usually regarded as being a necessary ingredient in making an overall assessment of qualifications for fellowship. The present article suggests a mechanism by which these merit assessments may be complemented with a quantitative rule that incorporates both subjective and objective elements. The goal of measuring merit may be elusive, but quantitative assessment rules can help to widen the effective electorate (for instance, by including the decisions of editors, the judgments of independent referees, and received opinion about research) and mitigate distortions that can arise from cluster effects, invisible college coalition voting, and inner sanctum bias. The rule considered here is designed to assist the selection process by explicitly taking into account subjective assessments of individual candidates for election as well as direct quantitative measures of quality obtained from bibliometric data. Audit methods are suggested to mitigate possible gaming effects by electors in the peer review process. The methodology has application to a wide arena of quality assessment and professional ranking exercises. Some specific issues of implementation are discussed in the context of the Econometric Society fellowship elections.

Keywords

Auditing peer review, Bibliometric data, Election, Fellowship, Measurement, Meritocracy, Peer review, Quantification, Subjective assessment, Voting

Discipline

Econometrics

Research Areas

Econometrics

Publication

Econometric Reviews

Volume

35

Issue

1

First Page

2

Last Page

40

ISSN

0747-4938

Identifier

10.1080/07474938.2014.956633

Publisher

Taylor & Francis: STM, Behavioural Science and Public Health Titles

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://doi.org/10.1080/07474938.2014.956633

Included in

Econometrics Commons

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