Adopt a Paper: The Impact of High-Quality Research Feedback on the Academic Success of Junior Scholars

Awarded Scholars:
Danila Serra, Texas A&M University
Elira Kuka, George Washington University
Project Date:
Aug 2021
Award Amount:

In academia, journal publications are the primary determinant of tenure and promotions. However, these are both a reflection of research productivity, and a function of personal networks and exposure to high-quality feedback. Economists Danila Serra and Elira Kuka hypothesize that since the economics discipline is predominantly male and white dominated, less access to quality feedback and weaker networks reduce women’s and underrepresented minorities’ chances of getting tenure. In this project, Serra and Kuka aim to develop a novel and easily scalable mentoring program for early career scholars in the field of economics, and to evaluate its impact on their academic success. Junior scholars in the field study will either receive feedback on a research paper from a volunteer senior scholar, or will be assigned to a control group that receives no feedback on their papers. The investigators will collect information from the junior scholars’ websites, journal websites, and other public sources for several years to track the progress of the paper submitted to the program, the junior scholars’ other papers, and their professional careers. In the summers of 2022 and 2023, the investigators will survey all junior scholars regarding their experience with the program.This project will advance our understanding of the impact of high-quality feedback on research output and the academic success of junior scholars, and whether this impact varies according to the junior’s characteristics.


RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of original empirical research articles by both established and emerging scholars.


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