Monday, July 11, 2011

Dance band on the Titanic

Oh my. Yet another story about economists behaving badly. This time it's Bruno and the Frey-ettes. Multiple self-plagiarism plus possible more traditional plagiarism or at the least incredibly sloppy literature checking.

The cliff notes version is that Frey et. al basically published the same paper 4 times in different journals without any of the 4 referencing or making note of the existence of the others.

Further, there are multiple previous papers that use the same data, similar techniques and draw similar conclusions. None of them are cited in any of the Frey et. al papers.

The econ job rumors site has a huge thread on the Frey affair as well.


Mungowitz said...

What did BF think was going to happen?

The only thing that makes sense is that Bruno thought no one actually reads his papers, and so no one would notice.

Otherwise, the probability of this being found out is 1. No benefits, substantial risk.

jdc said...

I think more than anything this is an indictment of the peer review system. Of course authors are incentivized to do this kind of thing. Most people expect the peer review process to weed this junk out. Clearly peer review didn't work. It happens in physical sciences too; I saw it many many times during my PhD days.

There's just too much free and easy money funding professors who need to get published and publishers who need to publish to sell journals to university libraries that need to buy journals to keep somebody (professors?) happy. Or maybe it's that university libraries need to be able to boast about how many things they have on the shelves in their halls (real or virtual).

Gerardo said...

I don't think the probability of being found out is 1. If Bruno had dropped dead instead of publishing the Titanic piece, we wouldn't be blessed with the Frey Plag Wiki documenting his lifelong encroachment into ethically dubious publishing practices. Nice piece via MR.