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Academic Publishing Is All About Status

As a young professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the 1940s and 1950s, Paul Samuelson made a habit of visiting the offices of the Quarterly Journal of Economics, then based at MIT, to look through the other economics journals that arrived in the mail. “I’d read every journal, every article,” he told me a decade ago.

Nowadays, no economist would do this. For one thing, there are too many economics journals for any one person to read. For another, cutting-edge research now invariably makes its way onto the Internet long before showing up in a journal.

“In the old days, journals were viewed as a means of disseminating ideas,” Pinelopi Goldberg, an economics professor at Yale and editor in chief of the American Economic Review, said this week in San Francisco. “I think that doesn’t apply any longer.”

So what are academic journals for?

Click here to read more from this January 5, 2016 BloombergView article by Justin Fox.

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