What’s in a (Missing) Name? Status and Signaling in Open Standards Development

Interoperability, Competition Policy and Antitrust and Standards

Article Snapshot


Lee Fleming, Tim S. Simcoe and Dave Waguespack


NET Institute Working Paper #08-31, 2008


This paper tests the importance of an author’s identity to publication and readership.

Policy Relevance

This paper is relevant to understanding discrimination in the academic publishing process.

Main Points

  • The results of this study indicate that if a paper seeking publication has an important name attached to it, the paper is significantly more likely to be published than if that same paper did not have such an important name attached to it.


  • Evidence from this study also suggests that names are primarily used as a signal: the screening process is one of statistical rather than taste-based discrimination.

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