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Simulating the Social Processes of Science
By: Bruce Edmonds, Nigel Gilbert, Petra Ahrweiler, Andrea Scharnhorst, Volume 14 (4)
Abstract: Science is the result of a substantially social process. That is, science relies on many inter-personal processes, including: selection and communication of research findings, discussion of method, checking and judgement of others' research, development of norms of scientific behaviour, organisation of the application of specialist skills/tools, and the organisation of each field (e.g. allocation of funding). An isolated individual, however clever and well resourced, would not produce science as we know it today. Furthermore, science is full of the social phenomena that are observed elsewhe ...

Opening the Black-Box of Peer Review: An Agent-Based Model of Scientist Behaviour
By: Flaminio Squazzoni, Claudio Gandelli, Volume 16 (2)
Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of referee behaviour on the quality and efficiency of peer review. We focused on the importance of reciprocity motives in ensuring cooperation between all involved parties. We modelled peer review as a process based on knowledge asymmetries and subject to evaluation bias. We built various simulation scenarios in which we tested different interaction conditions and author and referee behaviour. We found that reciprocity cannot always have per se a positive effect on the quality of peer review, as it may tend to increase evaluation bias. It can have a positive ...

Simulating Creativity from a Systems Perspective: CRESY
By: Cara H. Kahl, Hans Hansen, Volume 18 (1)
Abstract: Psychological research on human creativity focuses primarily on individual creative performance. Assessing creative performance is, however, also a matter of expert evaluation. Few psychological studies model this aspect explicitly as a human process, let alone measure creativity longitudinally. An agent-based model was built to explore the effects contextual factors such as evaluation and temporality have on creativity. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s systems perspective of creativity is used as the model’s framework, and stylized facts from the domain of creativity research in psychology provi ...

Innovation Suppression and Clique Evolution in Peer-Review-Based, Competitive Research Funding Systems: An Agent-Based Model
By: Pawel Sobkowicz, Volume 18 (2)
Abstract: Peer review is ubiquitous in modern science: from the evaluation of publications to the distribution of funding. While there is a long tradition of, and many arguments for, peer review as a beneficial and necessary component of scientific processes, the exponential growth of the research community, the ‘publish or perish’ pressures and increasing insecurity and competition for research grants have led to an increasing number of voices describing the weaknesses of the system. One of the most frequent accusations against the peer review system is that it inhibits true innovation. The availab ...

Utility, Impact, Fashion and Lobbying: An Agent-Based Model of the Funding and Epistemic Landscape of Research
By: Pawel Sobkowicz, Volume 20 (2)
Abstract: The paper presents an agent-based model of an evolution of research interests in a scientific community. The research epistemic/funding landscape is divided into separate domains, which differ in impact on society and the perceived utility, which may determine the public willingness to fund. Scientific domains also differ in their potential for attention grabbing, crucial discoveries, which make them fashionable and also attract funding. The scientists may `follow' the availability of funds via a stylized grant based scheme. The model includes possible effects of the additional public ...

Grade Language Heterogeneity in Simulation Models of Peer Review
By: Thomas Feliciani, Ramanathan Moorthy, Pablo Lucas, Kalpana Shankar, Volume 23 (3)
Abstract: Simulation models have proven to be valuable tools for studying peer review processes. However, the effects of some of these models’ assumptions have not been tested, nor have these models been examined in comparative contexts. In this paper, we address two of these assumptions which go in tandem: (1) on the granularity of the evaluation scale, and (2) on the homogeneity of the grade language (i.e. whether reviewers interpret evaluation grades in the same fashion). We test the consequences of these assumptions by extending a well-known agent-based model of author and reviewer behaviour with ...