An Investigation of Social-Behavioral Phenomena in the Peer-Review Processes of Scientific Foundations
A huge amount of the issues in the realm of scientific endeavor are decided by member of expert communities in various fields. Decisions that sanction the funding of project proposals are based on a voting process. Such decision-making is particularly applied in the evaluation of applications to publicly-funded initiatives, which include the awarding of higher academic degrees and titles, in competitions to fill personnel vacancies, and other similar areas.
In such situations, experts (electors) individually decide in favor of a particular applicant based on specific objective criteria, as well by subjective consideration of their decision’s repercussion in the profession field and the impact of the decisions on the experts’ reputation. The result of such choices may depend on the psychological qualities and the current mood of the expert. The selection of the experts and their assignation to particular evaluation projects is often random. As a result, the collective adjudication on such projects is comprised of the interweaving of several objective and subjective factors.
In this paper, the authors examine the competitive selection process for scientific projects in applications for funding from scientific foundations. A simulated “peer review” model is utilized, designed to analyze a number of experts’ economic and psychological characteristics and their group affiliation in the form of scientific schools.
The authors use qualitative analysis concerning the impact of changes reputations of experts on their decisions in the scientific community. Thus, the research results herein show the dynamics of the scientific and expert community structure. The model is agent-oriented and is a convenient tool for modeling the process of competitive selection in project funding applications.
KeywordsPublic choice Alternative choice Science experts Psychological characteristics Agent-oriented modeling Multi-stage choice Reputation Scientific school
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