Research suggests that scientists based at prestigious institutions receive more credit for their work than scientists based at less prestigious institutions, as do scientists working in certain countries. We examined the extent to which country- and institution-related status signals drive such differences in scientific recognition. In a preregistered survey experiment, we asked 4,147 scientists from six disciplines (astronomy, cardiology materials science, political science, psychology and public health) to rate abstracts that varied on two factors: i) author country (high status vs lower status in science); ii) author institution (high status vs lower status university). We found only weak evidence of country- or institution-related status bias, and mixed regression models with discipline as random-effect parameter indicated that any plausible bias not detected by our study must be small in size.
All data and code needed to evaluate the conclusions are available here: https://osf.io/x4rj8/.
- Mathias Wullum Nielsen
- Christine Friis Baker
- Emer Brady
- Jens Peter Andersen
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Human subjects: Aarhus University's Institutional Review Board approved the study. We obtained informed consent from all participants (case no. 2019-616-000014)
- Peter Rodgers, eLife, United Kingdom
© 2021, Nielsen et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.