Academia as financial markets? on “CEO-Editors” & “ISI WOK Stock Exchange”

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This paper argues that publishing in the global academia has come to resemble the operations of financial markets. The metaphor enables us to explicate the self-fulfilling prophecies that constitute the academic system, to understand the role of journals, to confront (re)constructions of self-evidence, and to develop meaningful responses in relating to the system.


The following citation give a great view on how this metaphor works:


“Academic capitalism runs wild as competition between universities, study programs, journals, and academics is proliferating. ‘League tables’ of universities and programs are introduced, and resources are allocated on the basis of output that meets pre-defined, allegedly universal criteria. Rankings and accreditations are crafted to construct performance indicators that are comparable
worldwide; the competitive space in academia is
now global as well as national (Wedlin, 2011). Research output in the form of articles in prestigious journals is a key measure of performance for universities and individual
academics. I suggest that in such a market journals are run like companies by CEO-editors who aim to create value for their shareholders. Inclusion in Thomson Reuters ISI Web of Knowledge has become like a listing on the New York Stock
Exchange, a measure of ambition and success. CEO-editors seek to increase their ISI Journal Impact Factor, in other words the price of company shares on the NYSE. As a result, there is a thin line between smart, value-based management and unethical behavior. CEO-editors are tempted to adopt policies and practices that artificially push up the journal Impact Factor by, for example, inflating citations (Parker & Thomas, 2011). In this context, influential journal list and ranking bodies such as the Association of Business Schools (ABS) in the UK–—that assigns stars to journals to denote their
quality–—resemble credit rating firms that monitor the journals’ performance and future prospects, and provide supposedly impartial information for academics-cum-investors on where to submit their manuscripts.”




Academia as financial markets? Metaphoric reflections and possible responses

Janne Tienari. Scandinavian Journal of Management

Available online 25 June 2012

In Press, Corrected Proof

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Mobility in global rankings: making institutional strategic plans and positioning for building world-class universities

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Since the start of the twenty-first century, university rankings have become internationalized. Global rankings have a variety of uses, levels of popularity and rationales and they are here to stay. An examination of the results of the current global ranking reveals that well-reputed world-class universities are amongst the top ranked ones. A major concern for university administrators in many parts of the world is how to use the global rankings wisely in their mid-term and long-term strategic planning for building their institutions into world-class universities. Four major global rankings have been developed: the Academic Ranking of World Universities, the World University Rankings, the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities and the Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities. The main purpose of this paper is to explore the most influential indicators in these global university rankings that will affect the rank mobility of an institution. Based on an analysis of correlation coefficients and K-means clustering, a model of strategic institutional planning for building a world-class university is proposed.



Higher Education Research & Development

An analysis of mobility in global rankings: making institutional strategic plans and positioning for building world-class universities


Angela Yung Chi Houa, Robert Morseb & Chung-Lin Chianga
Version of record first published: 22 Jun 2012

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Knowledge and Consequence; or how central the creation, dissemination and impact of knowledge is to your business school brand

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Wharton turns the brand lens on itself and finds that “knowledge for action” sets the School apart.

Knowledge developed at Wharton reaches millions of students and professionals each year in every field of business or entrepreneurial enterprise. Wharton has one of the most published faculties among business schools worldwide, the largest global alumni network and six language editions of Knowledge@Wharton with more than 1.8 million subscribers.

All of this shared acumen is a vital brand component for Wharton, but it is how that knowledge is translated into action that is the real brand story—often untold.

Wharton knowledge, certainly unmatched in scope, combined with a passionate, entrepreneurial community, creates a very special dynamic: a place where knowledge fuels action—and where its reach and impact are ever-expanding.

An extensive exploration of Wharton’s identity led by Dean Thomas S. Robertson and a team of committed faculty revealed just how central the creation, dissemination and impact of knowledge is to the Wharton brand.

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Who is engaging with whom? Internationalizing opportunities for business schools in emerging economies

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Purpose –

This article discusses the globalization of Business Schools and presents different strategies, issues and perspectives on how and why business schools are going global. This article explores various models for globalization, contrasts and integrates them, and then presents an approach to globalization that is within the reach of these smaller and less endowed schools.


Design/methodology/approach –

This paper reviews relevant literature and an analysis of exchange programs amongst the world’s leading business schools. Different aspects of the globalization of management education are discussed including internationalizing the curriculum, globalizing research agendas, and the impact of globalized competition.


Findings –

A framework has been developed that can be employed by business schools – especially in emerging economies – to internationalize themselves through their education and research programs. Recommendations are made for how business schools with limited resources can meet the challenge of offering the internationally oriented education experience increasingly demanded by employers and students alike.


Research limitations/implications –

Limitations to this paper results from the use of Financial Times top one-hundred ranked business schools. Aside from weaknesses inherent the rankings methodology, the choice of these business schools excluded hundreds of high quality business schools around the world – many of which are internationally recognized for quality. Furthermore the methodology of the scanning of websites of schools for types of collaboration agreements across borders might not give the full picture of agreements betweens schools.


Practical implications –

Originality/value – Although a considerable amount has been written about the globalization imperative facing business schools (with many illustrations of what could be considered best practice), there is a significant lack of information when it comes to the articulation of strategies and implementation challenges facing smaller and less well endowed business schools that want to globalize



Dianne Lynne Bevelander, (2012) “Who is engaging with whom? Internationalizing opportunities for business schools in emerging economies”, International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 26 Iss: 7

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Journal Impact Factor, Eigenfactor, Journal Influence and Article Influence

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This paper examines the practical usefulness of two new journal performance metrics, namely the Eigenfactor score, which may be interpreted as measuring “Journal Influence”, and the Article Influence score, using the Thomson Reuters ISI Web of Science (hereafter ISI) data for 2009 for the 200 most highly cited journals in each of the Sciences and Social Sciences, and compares them with two existing ISI metrics, namely Total Citations and the 5-year Impact Factor (5YIF) of a journal (including journal self citations). It is shown that the Sciences and Social Sciences are different in terms of the strength of the relationship of journal performance metrics, although the actual relationships are very similar. Moreover, the journal influence and article influence journal performance metrics are shown to be closely related empirically to the two existing ISI metrics, and hence add little in practical usefulness to what is already known. These empirical results are compared with existing results in the literature.



Journal Impact Factor, Eigenfactor, Journal Influence and Article Influence

Chang, Chia-Lin and McAleer, Michael and Oxley, Les (2012) Journal Impact Factor, Eigenfactor, Journal Influence and Article Influence. [Working Paper or Technical Report] (Unpublished)


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ERC Monitoring & Evaluation scheme: distinquising Direct Impact, Structural Impact and Derived Impact of research

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The ERC Scientific Council is entrusted also with the task to “monitor quality of operations and evaluate programme implementation and achievements and make recommendations for corrective or future actions”.
In June 2009 the Scientific Council adopted an “ERC Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy”, outlining the approach that the ERC will take to monitor the performance of its operations and the impact of its funding activities. The Strategy provides a plan on how the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) activities of the ERC will be initiated, implemented and given due follow up with the aim to generate a broad and integrated understanding of the ERC’s performance and impact. This will enable the Scientific Council to take necessary measures for optimising its scientific strategy and maintaining or improving the quality of the operations and overall performance. It will also provide all interested parties with timely, relevant and reliable information on ERC activities
and their impacts. Taking into account the mission of the ERC and the funding policies developed by the ERC Scientific Council, four evaluation dimensions have been identified around which the ERC M&E activities will be organised. The four
dimensions, corresponding to four objectives of the “Ideas” Programme, are schematically represented in the Figure above in relation with a series of components around which M&E activities will be organised.


Source: ERC anual report 2009, pp. 18-19

Fulltext of the ERC annual report:

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The Aarhus Declaration2012; defining six fundamental “excellence in research” principles

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The ERC Excellence declaration defines what excellence should be in research, but what is excellence in research?

“The prevailing focus on supporting incremental research of high productivity can certainly reach levels, which may be defined as excellent. But, there is an even higher level of excellence to aim for. When aiming for excellence, one should aim at the stars: At new knowledge which changes paradigms, invents new fields and open opportunities with broad societal consequences. These are the kind of breakthroughs that form the base for new products and processes that bring benefit to people in their everyday lives.

To reach this level of excellence we need to foster scientific research with an ambition to challenge accepted views and knowledge which can result in real breakthroughs. This kind of ambition is much more risky, it needs a longer time perspective and it is normally less productive. But it has a higher probability of making a real difference.

Moreover, frontier research serves a wider purpose as it ultimately is a public good that benefits humankind. The capability to perform excellent research as well as the results yielded are public goods to be utilised for the good of all on a local, national, regional and global scale. Access to research results, infrastructures and funding should be ensured, making it possible for researchers across fields and disciplines, students and society to share and learn.

Excellent research should be identified by careful evaluation of research proposals and applicants, carried out in an open competition by internationally acclaimed experts. The evaluation should follow internationally acknowledged standards and criteria in a fair and transparent assessment procedure that prevent national, social or gender bias. By doing so, it is possible to identify and support the very best people with the most ambitious ideas.


Excellence is the essential foundation that secures the development and availability of human capital to meet the needs of the future. How is excellence in research sustained and nurtured?

Now more than ever we need intense and coordinated transversal research. At the same time, Europe must give room and priority to bottom up, investigator driven research evaluated against excellence as the main criterion, as well as striving for excellence when targeting research funding to specific challenges and research areas. In addition, Europe should monitor and ensure a better regulatory environment to allow research to flourish.


Trust and freedom


In order to achieve groundbreaking results, outstanding researchers deserve trust and should be encouraged to pursue ambitious, original, and daring research ideas as these are most likely to lead to major new insights and results. While acknowledging accountability for the spending of public funds, excellent research organisations as well as the individual researchers need adequate freedom and flexibility in handling research grants.


Long-term perspective


Some research endeavors may offer immediately applicable results, in other cases, the relevance or impact of results may not be recognised until later when more advanced technologies are available or when they become relevant to the research conducted in other fields. Therefore, a long-term perspective is necessary when pursuing truly novel research and when evaluating the success or impact of research. Consequently, universities and other research institutions must be offered sufficient trust in order to set up and pursue longterm projects based on ideas and competences in their staff.


Creative and dynamic research environments


Excellence requires investing in excellent working environments. Outstanding researchers and ambitious ideas thrive in creative and dynamic research environments that provide a healthy balance between competition and collaboration. A large degree of flexibility and autonomy should be given to excellent research groups enabling them to find the model of organisation best suited to find solutions to the problems they work with.


Beyond and across disciplines


To understand and tackle today’s complex challenges, we have to rise above and work beyond the “silos” of different disciplines, providing research funding that stimulates the exchange of knowledge between different research areas. Cross-disciplinary work tends to open up whole new fields of research. Excellent researchers whose ideas require research efforts spanning traditional fields, and that are able to lead such multi-disciplinary work, will be key players in the process of strengthening the European science base.


Recognising and nurturing talents


All European countries have a common obligation to provide conditions that allow the identification and support of talent everywhere, regardless of nationality, social background or gender. Reinforced action beyond encouragement is needed to attract and retain people to pursue a research career in order to fully utilise the indispensable contributions of the talent pool. Europe cannot afford to let talent go unnoticed and unnurtured.

Europe needs to offer the best possible career opportunities for young, talented researchers. The best possible opportunities are to be provided for talented students, postgraduates and post doctoral researchers. This calls for investment in first-class national educational systems that can identify and support particularly talented people, while raising the overall scientific and intellectual performance of the majority.


State of the art infrastructure


If European research is to remain a global leader for scientific and innovative breakthroughs, state-of-the-art infrastructure and instruments are to be provided in Europe to attract the best researchers on a competitive basis. Coherence in European research can be strengthened through collaboration on strategic planning of large and expensive research infrastructure. A common effort to finance excellent European research infrastructure can serve as a starting point for establishing excellent research environments where scientists from all over Europe work together in striving for new knowledge and insight.”


Fulltext of the declaration:


Wordcloud of 10 100 words:

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