, Volume 74, Issue 2, pp 175–189

Persistent nepotism in peer-review


    • Department for Studies of Social Change and CultureLinköping University
  • Martin Hällsten
    • Department of Sociology & Swedish Institute for Social ResearchStockholm University
Selected Papers Presented at the 9th International Conference on Science and Technology Indicators

DOI: 10.1007/s11192-008-0211-3

Cite this article as:
Sandström, U. & Hällsten, M. Scientometrics (2008) 74: 175. doi:10.1007/s11192-008-0211-3


In a replication of the high-profile contribution by Wennerås and Wold on grant peer-review, we investigate new applications processed by the medical research council in Sweden. Introducing a normalisation method for ranking applications that takes into account the differences between committees, we also use a normalisation of bibliometric measures by field. Finally, we perform a regression analysis with interaction effects. Our results indicate that female principal investigators (PIs) receive a bonus of 10% on scores, in relation to their male colleagues. However, male and female PIs having a reviewer affiliation collect an even higher bonus, approximately 15%. Nepotism seems to be a persistent problem in the Swedish grant peer review system.

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007