Do academics doubt their own research?

Stapleton, Lee (2015) Do academics doubt their own research? Working Paper. SPRU, University of Sussex, Sussex.

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When do experts doubt or question their own previously published research and why? An online survey was designed and distributed across academic staff and postgraduate research students at different universities in Great Britain. Respondents (n = 202 - 244) identified the likelihoods of six different (quasi) hypothetical occurrences causing them to doubt or question work they have published in peer reviewed journals. They are: two
objective and two semi-objective citation based metrics, plus two semi-objective metrics based on verbalised reactions. Only limited support is found from this study to suggest that the authors of primary research would agree with any judgements made by others about their research based on these metrics. The occurrence most likely to cause respondents to doubt or question their previously published research was where the majority of citing studies suggested mistakes in their work. In a multivariate context, only age and nationality are significant determinants of doubt beyond average likelihoods. Understanding and acknowledging what makes authors of primary research doubt their own research could increase the validity of those who pass judgement.

Item Type: Reports and working papers (Working Paper)
Additional Information: SPRU Working Paper Series (ISSN 2057-6668)
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit > SPRU Working Paper Series
Subjects: H Social Sciences
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Depositing User: Lee Stapleton
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2015 14:31
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 14:31

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