Thursday, February 4, 2010

Adventures in working paper misbehavior

Regular readers of ECONJEFF will have heard me rant before about media outlets (like the NYT) that write articles about working papers, which have not yet been peer reviewed, rather than published papers, which have been peer reviewed.

An astute but anonymous reader forwarded me this piece on something called "Seeking Alpha" that excerpts (and so publicizes) a paper that hasn't even been released yet as a working paper. Right there at the bottom it says:
[Excerpt from a paper coming out in two weeks]
Of course, it only gets better, for the author of the excerpt on Seeking Alpha is also the author of the as-yet-unreleased paper.

One suspects that better feedback on the paper would be forthcoming, and the discussion of the paper's analysis and conclusions might be more elevated, if the publicity campaign for the paper began after the paper was available to readers, rather than before.

Sigh.

1 comment:

Austin said...

I can easily beat a two week lag. In July the Wall Street Journal ran an editorial http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124657539489189043.html
that cited research showing that borrowers without "skin in the game" - that is, borrowers with zero down payment loans, had extremely high foreclosure rates. Since I published a paper a year earlier entitled "Skin in the Game: Zero Down Payment Mortgage Default" I was, frankly, interested in whether or not my work was cited. I was also curious to see how the author had used logistic regression to determine exactly how many foreclosures could be attributed to each variable. For example, the author noted that 148,697 foreclosures were due to FICO scores < 620, while 60,942 foreclosures were due to rising interest rates. But I've searched repec, ssrn, and the author's homepage (and of course econlit) and still can't find a paper with these results 7 months later.