Replication vs. Iteration: Most Cited Scholarship in Economic and Business History Paper

Jari Eloranta, University of Helsinki
Anu Ojala, University of Jyvaskyla
Jari Ojala, University of Jyvaskyla
Heli Valtonen, University of Jyvaskyla

This paper is based on our earlier research that has examined both the significance of specific methods in business history (Eloranta et al. 2010) and why certain articles have received the most citations in the field of business history (Ojala et al. 2017). Here we want to, first, expand our analysis to examine most cited articles both in economic and business history, and, second, we want to analyze whether the replicability of the results (based on data, sources, methods etc.) played a role, especially in creating interdisciplinary appeal. We will also address other forms of replication in the top scholarship, such as the selection of topic and sources, research framework, qualitative vs. quantitative data, and so on. Does it matter whether the replication hinges on a process of analysis versus simpler, for example, quantitative models based on specific data and code. Moreover, we are interested in deconstructing the interlocking relationships between various aspects of the top articles, to see if those characteristics produced interdisciplinary citation together. Finally, and most importantly, we wish to separate the formation of broader knowledge clusters, which often are based on iteration (i.e., more precise forms of analyses and new, often larger datasets), versus actual replication of original results, leading to challenges of the original paradigms. This relates to the big debates in research fields, which shape the focus of discussions and shift the debates from methods to theories.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 21. Replicate This! Revisiting Past Findings in Interdisciplinary Scholarship