'Form' and 'Function' in the Social Sciences

26 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2018  

Byoung-Hyoun Hwang

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management; Korea University - Department of Finance

Hugh Hoikwang Kim

University of South Carolina, Darla Moore School of Business

Kai Wu

Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE) - School of Finance

Date Written: August 7, 2018

Abstract

Ideas proposed in scientific journal articles have the potential to touch many areas of our lives in significant ways. Here, we examine whether there are frictions in the scientific knowledge dissemination process. In particular, we test whether something as seemingly frivolous as the ease with which an article can be read affects the degree to which an article reaches its intended audience. Consistent with the presence of frictions, we find that when applying a copy-editing software that counts the pervasiveness of the most important “writing faults” to journal articles published from 2005 through 2014, articles with one more writing fault per one hundred words receive 7% fewer citations.

Keywords: Scientific Knowledge Dissemination, Readability

JEL Classification: A10, M30

Suggested Citation

Hwang, Byoung-Hyoun and Kim, Hugh Hoikwang and Wu, Kai, 'Form' and 'Function' in the Social Sciences (August 7, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3228084 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3228084

Byoung-Hyoun Hwang (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.bhwang.com

Korea University - Department of Finance

Seoul, 136-701
United States

Hugh Hoikwang Kim

University of South Carolina, Darla Moore School of Business ( email )

1014 Greene Street
Columbia, SC 29208
United States

Kai Wu

Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE) - School of Finance ( email )

Beijing
China

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