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The role of geographic bias in knowledge diffusion: a systematic review and narrative synthesis

Overview of attention for article published in Research Integrity and Peer Review, January 2020
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (90th percentile)
  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (55th percentile)

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Title
The role of geographic bias in knowledge diffusion: a systematic review and narrative synthesis
Published in
Research Integrity and Peer Review, January 2020
DOI 10.1186/s41073-019-0088-0
Pubmed ID
Authors

Mark Skopec, Hamdi Issa, Julie Reed, Matthew Harris

Abstract

Descriptive studies examining publication rates and citation counts demonstrate a geographic skew toward high-income countries (HIC), and research from low- or middle-income countries (LMICs) is generally underrepresented. This has been suggested to be due in part to reviewers' and editors' preference toward HIC sources; however, in the absence of controlled studies, it is impossible to assert whether there is bias or whether variations in the quality or relevance of the articles being reviewed explains the geographic divide. This study synthesizes the evidence from randomized and controlled studies that explore geographic bias in the peer review process. A systematic review was conducted to identify research studies that explicitly explore the role of geographic bias in the assessment of the quality of research articles. Only randomized and controlled studies were included in the review. Five databases were searched to locate relevant articles. A narrative synthesis of included articles was performed to identify common findings. The systematic literature search yielded 3501 titles from which 12 full texts were reviewed, and a further eight were identified through searching reference lists of the full texts. Of these articles, only three were randomized and controlled studies that examined variants of geographic bias. One study found that abstracts attributed to HIC sources elicited a higher review score regarding relevance of the research and likelihood to recommend the research to a colleague, than did abstracts attributed to LIC sources. Another study found that the predicted odds of acceptance for a submission to a computer science conference were statistically significantly higher for submissions from a "Top University." Two of the studies showed the presence of geographic bias between articles from "high" or "low" prestige institutions. Two of the three included studies identified that geographic bias in some form was impacting on peer review; however, further robust, experimental evidence is needed to adequately inform practice surrounding this topic. Reviewers and researchers should nonetheless be aware of whether author and institutional characteristics are interfering in their judgement of research.

Twitter Demographics

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Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 22. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 24 February 2020.
All research outputs
#804,567
of 14,377,025 outputs
Outputs from Research Integrity and Peer Review
#44
of 80 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#27,764
of 295,212 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Research Integrity and Peer Review
#12
of 27 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 14,377,025 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 94th percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 80 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 36.4. This one is in the 45th percentile – i.e., 45% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 295,212 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 90% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 27 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 55% of its contemporaries.