Academics are all - to various degrees - pedantic and ego driven. We love seeing our name in print, and a citation is the purest form of flattery. To be referred to (or not), is something that I'm only just starting to experience. By this I don't mean my publications, but me. And a couple of recent articles have left me puzzled.
Firstly, I attended a conference where Josh Hall presented a paper (co-authored with Scott Beaulier) that contrasted the academic genealogy of Don Lavoie and Randy Holcombe. I appeared in this list because my adviser, Pete Boettke, was advised by Lavoie. (As an aside I have reservations about both the methodological foundations and the implementation of this type of history - should Claudia Williamson really appear after Pete Leeson?) I recollect seeing at the time a 1(0) by my name in their Figure 5, which is "the number of articles indexed in the Social Science Citation Index (SSCI)". I assumed that was for this paper published in Eastern European Economics, but I don't have a definitive list of the SSCI so I wasn't sure. However when the article appeared in print, I noticed that my score was 0(0) (as does this.pdf version of the paper).
Secondly (and completely independently), I've just seen that according to Scott Beaulier:
The paper sounded fascinating to me. Table 1 reports the "Top economics bloggers by scholarly impact" with Becker, Mankiw and Posner taking the top three spots. I assumed that the study would focus on US econ departments but then noticed that Tim Harford was at number 51. I also assumed that the study would focus on scholars with a high citation count, but it contains people with "0" total cites. So the pedantic and ego-driven academic inside of me became a little puzzled - why wasn't I there?
Indeed I don't see any rationale at all for choosing the bloggers that they did, and the prevalence of current and former GMU grad students (ahead of the likes of Dani Rodrik) is a little odd. Instead of the SSCI they used "Publish of Perish" (via Harzing.com) to measure cites, and whilst I'm not familiar with this I can't see how I wouldn't appear (as arrogant as that sounds!) If anyone else has this software - do I really lead to no output?
Both articles purport to study epistemic communities that I am a part of, and both leave me puzzled about how they've reported me. I'm neither precious nor paranoid enough to think that this is about me, but if they have indeed misreported my publications then this does raise a problem. I find these issues sensitive - GMU does have a heavy internet presence, and has created a rich intellectual lineage. It's a good thing that people consider these warrant scholarly attention. But there's a danger that "insider" histories are slightly biased.