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The Matthew effect impacts science and academic publishing by preferentially amplifying citations, metrics and status

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The fame or status of an academic might not be built exclusively on research merit alone. In a world of competitive publishing, where vanity, metrics and citations play key roles in academics’ survival, for better or for worse, journal or institutional prestige may also serve as catalysts to further promote their status. The Matthew Effect, which breeds success from success, may rely on standing on the shoulders of others, citation bias, or the efforts of a collaborative network. Prestige is driven by resource, which in turn feeds prestige, amplifying advantage and rewards, and ultimately skewing recognition.

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The author thanks Kyriakos Drivas (Department of Economics, University of Piraeus, Greece) for useful comments and suggestions in an earlier draft of the manuscript, and Matjaž Perc (Faculty of Natural Sciences, and Mathematics, University of Maribor, Slovenia) for literature guidance and encouragement.

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The author contributed entirely to the intellectual discussion underlying this paper, literature exploration, writing, reviews and editing, and accepts responsibility for the content of this opinion piece.

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Correspondence to Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva.

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Teixeira da Silva, J.A. The Matthew effect impacts science and academic publishing by preferentially amplifying citations, metrics and status. Scientometrics 126, 5373–5377 (2021).

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