Expert decisions

Matthew Dobra, Christis G. Tombazos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


National Research Assessments are used by countries to improve their research quality. They rely on experts to evaluate research, and use their assessments to reward publications. It is widely assumed that experts bring to the process the kind of judgment and knowledge that transcends their observable characteristics. We show that, for the most part, they do not. Using a unique uncensored dataset of expert deliberations, we find that 90% of expert decisions can be inferred from publicly available information, notably experts’ CVs. We also find that about half of their decisions are driven by objective quality standards and the other half by cognitive biases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-348
Number of pages32
JournalDecision Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Cognitive Bias
  • Committee Decisions
  • Research Policy

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