Rating Research Papers

Rating Agencies

Harold L. Cole, Thomas F. Cooley

NBER Working Paper No. 19972
Issued in March 2014
NBER Program(s):Corporate Finance, Economic Fluctuations and Growth

For decades credit rating agencies were viewed as trusted arbiters of creditworthiness and their ratings as important tools for managing risk. The common narrative is that the value of ratings was compromised by the evolution of the industry to a form where issuers pay for ratings. In this paper we show how credit ratings have value in equilibrium and how reputation insures that, in equilibrium, ratings will reflect sound assessments of credit worthiness. There will always be an information distortion because of the fact that purchasers of ratings need not reveal them. We argue that regulatory reliance on ratings and the increasing importance of risk-weighted capital in prudential regulation have more likely contributed to distorted ratings than the matter of who pays for them. In this respect, much of the regulatory obsession with the conflict created by issuers paying for ratings is a distraction.

Acknowledgments

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19972

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An article debunking the myths of low-fat dieting is the most popular scientific research paper of 2017.

This article, suggesting that it is in fact too much sugar and too many carbohydrates that will make you gain weight, has topped the annual Altmetric Top 100 papers of 2017, which names the most popular scientific studies of the year based on online activity. 

The list is compiled by London company Altmetric, which analyses the online performance of scholarly literature. The term “alt-metrics” is short for “alternative metrics”, and refers to the practice of rating papers on things like social media mentions and online citations, rather than simply looking at citations in other journals. 

To compile the list, Altmetric looked at a range of measures including mainstream news media references, Wikipedia citations, social media mentions and performance in scholarly spaces such as post-publication peer-review forums and patient advocacy groups. This image shows how the top-rating article performed on this range of alternative measures.

Other popular papers this year include studies looking at a new genome editing procedure, and how being treated by a female physician may save your life. Of the top 100, 53 were in the field of medical science. Biological science (17), earth and environmental science (nine), and studies in human society (eight) were the next most popular. 

“While the top 100 is intended for a broader audience, the data behind it has a serious purpose – to make viewing and analysing the online conversation surrounding research outputs easy for researchers, institutions, publishers and funders alike,” said Euan Adie, founder of Altmetric. 

“In so doing, we aim to enable discussions around the full impacts of research, beyond traditional impact scores.” 


The top 10 most popular scientific research papers of 2017

Access the full top 100 here. 


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