How Important is Editorial Gatekeeping? Evidence from Top Biomedical Journals
36 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2021 Last revised: 9 Sep 2021
Date Written: August 30, 2021
We examine editors’ influence on the scientific content of academic journals by unpacking the role of three major forces: journals’ missions, aggregate supply of and demand for specific topics, and scientific homophily via editorial gatekeeping. In a sample of top biomedical journals, we find that the first two forces explain the vast majority of variation in published content. The upper bound of the homophily effect is statistically significant but practically unimportant. Marginal editorial changes thus likely do not meaningfully impact journals’ content in the short run. However, we do not rule out persistent or pervasive frictions in the publication process.
JEL Classification: I23, J24, O31, O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation