Do you know your Eigenfactor Score on SSRN?

The author-level Eigenfactor® score is a weighted measure of an author’s citations. It takes into account the number of authors of the paper, the number of outgoing citations from each paper citing an author’s paper, and the importance of the citing paper. All self-citations are eliminated before the score is calculated in order to remove bias, and the final score reported in the SSRN ranking tables is calculated from SSRN citation data only.


 To understand how this importance-weighting works, consider the following iterated voting procedure:
“Each author begins with a single vote and passes it on, dividing the vote proportionally based on those authors whom she cites. In other words, if she cites two authors – author A one time and author B two times – she would distribute 1/3 of her vote to author A and 2/3 of her vote to author B. After one round of this procedure, some authors will receive more votes than others. In the second round, each author passes on her current vote total, as received in the previous round, again dividing this quantity equally among those authors whom she cites. This process is iterated indefinitely. Eventually, we reach a steady state in which each author receives an unchanging number of votes in each round. An author’s Eigenfactor score is the percentage of the total votes that she receives at this steady state.”


 To understand more about these metrics, read this article:


 How can I access my own personal score?

 Go to the “Top authors” section on SSRN and simply type your surname (here : Alemanno). As you can see, Alberto Alemanno ranks 111 within the top 30,000 authors on SSRN and his Eigenfactor Score (x100) is 0,0989 (ranks 9,062 out of 30 000).





Need further assistance?
Ask the Library!

Also, HEC Paris has moved into the top 10 rankings in the SSRN Top 1,000 International Business School, as of June 2014.
This is an outstanding achievement relating to our research publications, and will continue to raise the profile of HEC Paris worldwide.

Keep up the good work!


‘Capital in the twenty-first century’ sparking a debate

French economist Thomas Pikkety’s recent book Capital in the Twenty-First Century has been the subject of large scale debate.

His book studies the global dynamics of income and wealth distribution since 18c in 20+ countries, including particular case studies of the UK, USA and France. Alongside other economists, Pikkety studies historical data collected over the past 15 years, together with Atkinson, Saez, Postel-Vinay, Rosenthal, Alvaredo, Zucman, and over thirty others.
Some of the main ideas presented in this book are that inequality is in fact a feature of capitalism, that can only be reversed through state intervention. He suggests that the history of income and wealth inequality is always political, chaotic and unpredictable; it involves national identities and sharp reversals and therefore that nobody can predict the reversals of the future. He argues that the trend towards greater inequality was reduced through major historical events such as world wars, which forced governments to intervene with the redistribution of wealth. He speaks of a shift back to ‘patrimonial capitalism’ of inherited wealth and predicts low economic growth in the near future, despite technological advancement, and proposes a new wealth tax rate in order to combat this.

This book has been both praised and criticised by the academic community.

For example, nobel –prize winning economist Paul Krugman called the book a “magnificent, sweeping meditation on inequality” and “the most important economics book of the year — and maybe of the decade.”
Steven Pearlstein called it a “triumph of economic history over the theoretical, mathematical modeling that has come to dominate the economics profession in recent years.”

However, a large chunk of criticism comes from Pikkety placing inequality at the center of analysis without any reflection on why it matters or explaining its implications. Martin Wolf, suggest he merely assumes that inequality matters, but never explains why, only demonstrates that it exists and how it worsens. Clive Crook also underlines how, “Aside from its other flaws, ‘Capital in the 21st Century’ invites readers to believe not just that inequality is important but that nothing else matters. This book wants you to worry about low growth in the coming decades not because that would mean a slower rise in living standards, but because it might … worsen inequality.”

There has also been heavy criticisms of Pikkety’s methodology. Lawrence Summers claims her underestimated diminishing returns on capital, which would change the upper limits of inequality following his model. James K. Galbraith criticizes Piketty for using “an empirical measure that is unrelated to productive physical capital and whose dollar value depends, in part, on the return on capital. Where does the rate of return come from? Piketty never says,” and German economist Stefan Homburg (de) criticizes Piketty for equating “wealth” with “capital”.

A lot of focus has been put on not only lexical differences, but a focus on qualitative and quantitative methods. Inequality itself can hold both qualitative and quantitative connotations, as it does not solely rely on numerical wealth. With this being such a central factor, it needs to be strictly defined.
There are also claims that the acquisition of quantitative data from a variety of sources, and from the array of researchers required to obtain necessary figures across the studied period, were also mixed in a questionable manner, which would impact on results exiting the economic model.

A further list of reviews and criticisms can be found here

So whilst Pikkety’s book was groundbreaking, it does not come without controversy

Make up your own mind – you can find this book at the library, with the code 2-2434 PIK

The World Cup in the academic sphere

As most of you will be aware, the FIFA 2014 World Cup has begun in Brazil.
We thought it would be interesting to look at how the impact of major sporting events has been studied in the academic sphere, and found a few articles linking this major sporting event with the business world.

Here are a few articles we selected after performing a search using the multi-source searcher

Business lessons from the soccer World Cup
By Pascual Berrone (2011)

Based on Spain’s achievement as soccer World Cup winner, the purpose of this paper is to draw lessons for business leaders.

Spain is experiencing for first time in its history the enjoyment of being the best soccer squad in the world. After the initial excitement of the soccer World Cup, it is useful to reflect on what are the elements that help explaining the championship of the Spanish team.


Sports Sentiment and Stock Returns
by Alex Edmans, Diego GarcÍa and Øyvind Norli

This paper investigates the stock market reaction to sudden changes in investor mood. Using psychological evidence of a strong link between soccer outcomes and mood, the authors use international soccer results as a primary mood variable. They found a significant market decline after soccer losses. For example, a loss in the World Cup elimination stage leads to a next-day abnormal stock return of −49 basis points.


Is Football an Indicator of Development at the International Level?
By Gásquez, Roberto; Royuela, Vicente.

The aim of this paper is to examine whether football can be considered an indicator of development at the international level. An empirical econometric model is designed in order to analyse development in terms of GDP per capita as well as in terms of the Human Development Index. Cross-sectional and time-series information are used. The results suggest that FIFA rankings of national teams can be used to complement our understanding of multidimensional development, in particular, in those countries where the availability of information is not as good as researchers would like.


The performance of football club managers: skill or luck?
By Adrian Bell, Chris Brooks & Tom Markham

This paper develops a performance management tool and considers its application to the football industry. Specifically, the resulting model evaluates the extent to which the performance of English Premier League football club managers can be attributed to skill or luck when measured separately from the characteristics of the team.


Let’s Get Messi? Top-Scorer Productivity in the European Champions League.
By Tim R. L. Fry,  Guillaume Galanos & Alberto Posso.

Getting a player like Lionel Messi in the squad would seem like a dream come true for a professional football manager, but is it always best to have top-quality players? We study the determinants of top goal-scorers’ productivity in the UEFA Champions League.


Ode to a “million dollar” question: does the future of football lie in the Middle East?
By  Nnamdi O. Madichie, (2013)

This paper reflects on recent events in the global football landscape and their implications for the Middle East, especially in their ambitious aspiration to be the future destination of the sport.Even though the tiny Gulf state of Qatar has “controversially” won the hosting rights of the greatest football event in the world (i.e. FIFA 2022), the FIFA world ranking of the State puts it just within the top 100 global footballing nations (ranked no. 95 as at November 2011). Its sibling, the UAE, fares even worse. However both countries have made the most investments in the sport of football in recent years.


Show Me the Money! Pay Structure and Individual Performance in Golden Teams.
By Edoardo Della Torre, Antonio Giangreco, Johan Maes,.

The authors analyse the unresolved relationship between pay structure and individual performance in organizational golden team settings, namely, groups of interdependent high-skilled, high-paid employees. They focus on individual (rather than collective) performance, considering both absolute and relative (within team-within role) pay structures, and investigating the moderating role of pay dispersion in the relationship between pay level and performance.


You can try the multi-source search engine for yourself here, find out more information about how it works from this post, or ask for research assistance at the library.



Giada Di Stefano in the SSRN Weekly Top 5 Papers

For the second time, the article Learning by Thinking: How Reflection Aids Performance, of which Giada Di Stefano is one of the authors, has been classed in the Weekly Top 5 papers of SSRN.

To find out more, click on this link to acces the SSRN Blog




5. Learning by Thinking: How Reflection Aids Performance by Giada Di Stefano (HEC Paris – Strategy & Business Policy) and Francesca Gino (Harvard Business School) and Gary Pisano (Harvard Business School) and Bradley Staats (University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School)

Productivity and time efficiency are significant concerns in modern Western societies, with time being perceived as a precious resource to guard and protect. In our daily battle against the clock, taking time to reflect on one’s work may seem to be a luxurious pursuit. Though reflection entails the high opportunity cost of one’s time, in this paper we argue and show that deliberate reflection is no wasteful pursuit: it can powerfully enhance the learning process. Learning, we find, can be augmented if one deliberately focuses on thinking about what one has been doing. Results from our analyses show that employees who spent the last 15 minutes of each day in their training period writing and reflecting on the lessons they had learned that day did 23% better in the final training test than employees who didn’t take time to consider how they had approached the task. This improvement, we find, is explained by greater self-efficacy, i.e. confidence in one’s ability to complete tasks competently and effectively.

Are you subscribed to the HEC Paris e-Journal collection on SSRN?

Every month, SSRN publishes an e-journal collection entitled the ‘HEC Paris Research Paper Series,’ on behalf of HEC Paris

Since April 2013, more than 15 issues have been published, which has provided the opportunity to promote 61 working papers published by researchers at HEC Paris.


For those who are not subscribed yet, please do so by clicking on the link.

(you will have to log in first)


The complete collection of working papers in the HEC Paris Research Paper Series can be found here:

Open Peer Review

Open peer review is based around the idea of transparency and disclosure of the identities of those reviewing each particular work, as opposed to the anonymous commenting , known as anonymous/blind peer review.

The Open Peer Review Protocol describes key features of this system:
  • Authors invite expert peers to formally evaluate their work posted in any online archive (libraries, repositories, preprint servers, etc).
  • Reviewers who accept submit a detailed qualitative and quantitative assessment of the work.
  • The reviewer’s name and any conflict of interest are publicly disclosed.
  • Reviews are published with a creative commons license (or similar) and become publicly available along with the original work.
  • Reviews are  subject to commentary and evaluation by the entire community.
  • Author-guided open peer review can be implemented at any stage of an article’s lifetime: (a)before journal submission, (b) during journal peer review (in agreement with the journal’s editor), and (c) after journal publication.


Why Open Peer Review can be interesting?

  • Previous comments were often managed by journal editors, who could therefore control access to each work and subsequent review
  • Anonymity meant people could falsify comments; both friends/colleagues of the author to leave positive commentary, or critics leaving harsher criticisms hiding behind the guise of anonymity
  • The accountability of adding a reviewer profile offers reviewers incentives to provide good quality and helpful reviews, as well as get into contact direclty to further works.
  • Lower costs (no publisher/editor monopoly)
  • Aims to keep taking scholarly advancement further
  • Encourages collaboration, and more reviewing as opposed to academic competition.


The  Libre project is one which has adopted free Open Peer Review as a platform for a community of volunteer scholars to share and develop its work, and its popularity is growing.


To find out more about Open Peer Review, read this article !




The Problem with Data Validation

John Kratz of the California Digital Library recently published an article entitled ‘Fifteen ideas about data validation (and peer review)

He describes it as a “longish list of non-parallel, sometimes-overlapping ideas about how data review, validation, or quality assessment could or should work, ” and lays out fifteen observations and recommendations to improve the process.

Problems with data validation can sometimes arise, as academic researchers often only publish raw datasets alongside their articles.

As a result it sometimes becomes difficult to assess the reliability and relevance of this data.

Whilst, as the author notes, there are some mechanisms in place to validate data, they are severely lacking in comparison to those in place for example in terms of citations ; where several widely recognised styles are already present.

This is somewhat surprising ; data validation is clearly of high importance in assuring the credibility of an academic article, and therefore strong mechanisms and even a standard procedure should be in place to ensure that this is the case.

One of the ongoing themes which runs throughout Kratz’ ideas is the depth of which the data needs to be reviewed ; not only by one person, but divided up among people or even organisations. Both data and metadata should be reviewed, not only by other academics, but experts in the field, the community and the users of the data. Similarly, aside from mere validation, actual use of the data is a form of review in itself, and works to confirm the true relevance and application of the data to conclude whether it really is fit for purpose.

 View this video coming from Nature for more information on the subject:


Research Apps for your mobile device

With the growing use of mobile devices in both daily and academic life, databases and other online resources are increasingly providing mobile access or developing applications to support their platforms.

Two recent examples of this are:

  • Emerald
  • Ebsco

Emerald  is a leading publisher of journals and books in the business and management domains.
Few month ago, Emerald has released a free application for iPad and iPhone which provides access to 100 000 journal articles, available from the app store.

Here’s how:


Open the app store and search for ‘Emerald’
Select and download the free app


 Once downloaded, open the application.

You will be met with the home page, as below


 You can search for articles using the simple search field. 

Your results will be displayed in the form of icons depicting each article title.

NB:  If you are connected to the HEC Wifi network you will also be able to get the PDF full text for each article.


The “Read Full-Text” icon will take you to an article summary page (redirected via your browser) with the option to view the article in full, PDF format in the tool bar on the right hand side of the screen.





The app also allows you to :

  •  browse journals by title, by tapping the ‘Browse Journals icon’ to view all available journals alphabetically (as shown below)






EBSCO uses a platform via your browser to offer mobile access to articles

To gain access, go to the HEC Library website –> Electronic Resources –> Databases A-Z
croll down alphabetically to find an EBSCO database, for example Business Source Complete, and touch Access EBSCO databases on your mobile device




Tap the EBSCOhost Mobile application is tailor-made for the smaller screens of mobile devices icon


 Select one or several databases on the list by ticking the relevant boxes on the left hand side, before selecting ‘continue’


Perform your search as you would normally, providing key words in the search boxes and drop down menus



From the list of results, you can get access to an article summary, or to the full text by tapping ‘PDF full text’


Sans titre.jpgapps2


The article will appear on your screen, as below





For further information on any of the above, do not hesitate to contact the library 😉

Using WRDS


Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) is a data research platform and business intelligence tool, which is used by over 30,000 corporate, academic, government and nonprofit clients in 32 countries. It offers data in fields such as Accounting, Banking, Economics, Finance, and Marketing.

HEC holds a subscription to the following databases, with many more available upon request. Each subscription is valid for a year.

  • Bank Regulatory
  • Blockholders
  • Bureau van Dijk
  • CBOE Indexes
  • CRSP
  • DMEF Academic Data
  • Dow Jones
  • Eventus
  • FDIC
  • Fama French & Liquidity Factors
  • Federal Reserve Bank
  • GMI Ratings (Formerly CorpLib)
  • IBES
  • Markit (Trial)
  • PHLX
  • Penn World Tables
  • Risk Metrics
  • SEC Order Execution
  • Thomson Reuters
  • Zacks (Trial)

Alongside access to this data, WRGS offers a variety of tools and programmes to facilitate and advance your searches, such as:

  • E-Learning

Capture d’e´cran 2014-04-22 a` 16.18.46

  • Consumer Support and explanation

Capture d’e´cran 2014-04-22 a` 16.20.28

  • Research assistance macros, guides, applications and data overviews


To access WRDS, a preliminary registration via the WRDS website is needed, which must then be validated by the library service.

Access to this platform is reserved for HEC Paris professors, PhD students, specialized masters, and masters of Science (M2 – Majors)

For more information, please contact the library.

Evaluating the h-index

Stacy Konkiel of ImpactStory  has published an article entitled “Four great reasons to stop caring so much about the h-index”  questioning the reliability of the h-index in assessing a scholars prominence.

ImpactStory is an “open-source, web-based tool that helps researchers explore and share the diverse impacts of all their research products—from traditional ones like journal articles, to emerging products like blog posts, datasets, and software.” Their aim is to create a new recognition system for scholars based on data and web impact.

The h-index was developed by Jorge E. Hirsch, and is an index that attempts to measure the productivity and impact of scholars via their published works. The index is based on a scholars most cited papers and publications, and the number of citations that they have received in other academic publications from other scholars.hindex

So why, according to Konkiel, should we ‘stop caring so much’ about it?

Firstly, Konkiel likens comparison via an h-index as ‘comparing apples and oranges.’
The h-index does not consider the field of study of an author. This means that finding a ‘good’ h-index comparatively across domains is difficult, as an author in medicine for example may have a much higher index than an author in mathematics, not necessarily because they are a better scholar, but simply because medicinal works may be published or cited more. Yet the h-index does not take this into account.

Furthermore, the h-index does not differentiate according to age or career advancement. A younger scholar will most likely have published fewer papers than one further along their career path, yet this is not taken into account. Similarly, there is even the presence of more than one h-index per author, depending on the databases consulted.

Secondly, Konkiel highlights the ignorance of articles that aren’t ‘shaped like an article.’ H-index only accounts for academic articles; therefore blog posts, patents, software and even some books are omitted from the count, which the author notes, affects the h-index in fields such as chemistry.
The analysed sphere of influence is also limited to academic citations, therefore even if an article had great social implications or forced a change in policy, this is not taken into account.

The author goes on to question the validity of assessing an author by a single number. One figure is too closed an area to assess a scholars full prominence, with parallels drawn with the limited accuracy of journal impact factors. Whilst it may provide valid information in one area, the basis of quantity vs influence does not create a full picture of an author.

Finally, Konkiel goes as far as to suggest the h-index is ‘dumb’ when it comes to authorship, as it does not consider different weighting depending on whether a paper was written alone or collaboratively, or the position of an author in a collaboration.

In conclusion, the author details some of the attempted ‘fixes’ for the h-index, none of which have been widely implemented.

Therefore she suggests looking at alternatives, which base their rankings on a wider range of data, for example altmetrics.

You can find out more about altmetrics here