Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Working papers of faculty, affiliated researchers and students at the Department of Economics, University of California at Santa Barbara.

Cover page of Do download reports reliably measure journal usage? Trusting the fox to count your hens?

Do download reports reliably measure journal usage? Trusting the fox to count your hens?

(2018)

Download rates of academic journals have joined citation rates as commonly-used indicators of the value of journal subscriptions.  While citation rates reflect worldwide influence, the value that a single library places on access to a journal is probably more accurately measured by the rate at which it is downloaded by local users.  If local download rates accurately measure local usage, there is a strong case for employing download rates to compare the cost-effectiveness of journals. We examine download data for more than five thousand journals subscribed to by the ten universities in the University of California system. We find that controlling for measured journal characteristics - citation rates, number of articles, and year of download - download rates, as captured by the ratio of downloads to citations, differs substantially between academic disciplines. This suggests that discipline specific adjustments to download rates are needed to construct a reliable tool for estimating local usage. Even after adding academic disciplines to the variables we control for, we find that there remain substantial ``publisher effects'', with some publishers recording significantly more downloads than would be predicted by the characteristics of their journals. While the usage tool can be modified to incorporate the publisher effect, this raises the question of what causes such substantial differences across publishers once journal and discipline characteristics are accounted for.

Cover page of Efficient Ethical Rules for Volunteer's Dilemmas

Efficient Ethical Rules for Volunteer's Dilemmas

(2017)

This paper extends the classic Volunteer’s Dilemma game to environments in which individuals have differing costs and private information about their own costs. It explores

the nature of symmetric ethical optimum strategies for Volunteer's Dilemma games with and without differing costs. Where costs differ, ethical optima are constructed by symmetrizing the game with a Rawlsian “Veil of Ignorance

Cover page of Competition and Personality in a Restaurant Entry Game: Is there an Entrepreneurial Personality Type?

Competition and Personality in a Restaurant Entry Game: Is there an Entrepreneurial Personality Type?

(2011)

Students in a large principles class participated in a market experiment in which they had opportunities to take entrepreneurial action. These students had also taken the Meyers-Briggs personality test. We explore the relation between personality characteristics and participation decisions.

Cover page of The Eigenfactor Metrics: A network approach to assessing scholarly journals

The Eigenfactor Metrics: A network approach to assessing scholarly journals

(2010)

Limited time and budgets have created a legitimate need for quantitative measures of scholarly work. The well-known journal impact factor is the leading measure of this sort; here we describe an alternative approach based on the full structure of the scholarly citation network. The Eigenfactor and Article Influence Score use an iterative ranking scheme similar to Google's PageRank algorithm. With this approach, citations from top journals are weighted more heavily than citations from lower-tier publications. We describe these metrics and the rankings that they provide.

Cover page of Big Macs and Eigenfactor Scores: Don't Let the Correlation Coefficients Fool You

Big Macs and Eigenfactor Scores: Don't Let the Correlation Coefficients Fool You

(2010)

A recent article by Phil Davis suggested that the Eigenvalue metric does adds little useful information to the more simply calculated measure of total citations published by the ISI. This paper argues that Davis's claim is an instance of a classic statistical fallacy of spurious correlation. Based on an analysis of the entire 2006 ISI Journal Citation Reports, we show that there are statistically and economically significant differences between the Eigenfactor metrics and the ISI's impact factor and total citations.

Cover page of The Uncommon Insight of Eleanor Ostrom

The Uncommon Insight of Eleanor Ostrom

(2010)

This article was written in celebration of Eleanor Ostrom's Nobel Prize. Standard economic approaches to the problem of overuse of common property resources have emphasized two competing remedies, the Pigovian approach of corrective taxation and the property rights approach of internalizing externalities by means of assigning marketable property rights to individual owners with exclusive claim on the entire commons. Elinor Ostrom pursues a third approach, which is based on case studies of existing communities that have established successful and durable systems of managing common property resources. This paper discusses her work and suggests that economists with an interest in public policy have much to gain from becoming familiar with the work of Ostrom and her co-authors.

Cover page of The Uncommon Insight of Elinor Ostrom

The Uncommon Insight of Elinor Ostrom

(2010)

Standard economic approaches to the problem of overuse of common property resources have emphasized two competing remedies, the Pigovian approach of corrective taxation and the property rights approach of internalizing externalities by means of assigning marketable property rights to individual owners with exclusive claim on the entire commons. Elinor Ostrom pursues a third approach, which is based on case studies of existing communities that have established successful and durable systems of managing common property resources. This paper discusses her work and suggests that economists with an interest in public policy have much to gain from becoming familiar with the work of Ostrom and her co-authors.