Selected Papers Presented at the 9th International Conference on Science and Technology Indicators


, Volume 74, Issue 2, pp 175-189

First online:

Persistent nepotism in peer-review

  • Ulf SandströmAffiliated withDepartment for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Linköping University Email author 
  • , Martin HällstenAffiliated withDepartment of Sociology & Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University

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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.