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Publications (10 of 21) Show all publications
Bursell, M. & Roumbanis, L. (2024). After the algorithms: A study of meta-algorithmic judgments and diversity in the hiring process at a large multisite company. Big Data and Society, 11(1)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>After the algorithms: A study of meta-algorithmic judgments and diversity in the hiring process at a large multisite company
2024 (English)In: Big Data and Society, E-ISSN 2053-9517, Vol. 11, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In recent years, both private and public organizations across contexts have begun implementing AI technologies in their recruitment processes. This transition is typically justified by improved efficiency as well as more objective, performance-based ranking, and inclusive selection of job candidates. However, this rapid development has also raised concerns that the use of these emerging technologies will instead increase discrimination or enhance the already existing inequality. In the present study, we first develop the concept of meta-algorithmic judgment to understand how recruiting managers may respond to automation of the hiring process. Second, we draw on this concept in the empirical assessment of the actual consequences of this type of transition by drawing on two large and unique datasets on employment records and job applications from one of Sweden's largest food retail companies. By comparing the outcomes of traditional and algorithmic job recruitment during this technological transition, we find that, contrary to the company's intentions, algorithmic recruitment decreases diversity. However, in contrast to what is often assumed, this is primarily not because the algorithms are biased, but because of what we identify as an unintended human–algorithmic interaction effect.

Keywords
Algorithm-based hiring, automation, human judgment, job recruitment, diversity, bias
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-226441 (URN)10.1177/20539517231221758 (DOI)001154356200001 ()2-s2.0-85183761345 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2019-02550
Available from: 2024-02-11 Created: 2024-02-11 Last updated: 2024-05-08Bibliographically approved
Roumbanis, L. (2024). Status hierarchies, gender bias and disrespect: Ethnographic observations from the Swedish Research Council review panel groups. In: Sandra Acker; Oili-Helena Ylijoki; Michelle K. McGinn (Ed.), The Social Production of Research: Perspectives on funding and gender (pp. 159-172). London: Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE)/Routledge
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Status hierarchies, gender bias and disrespect: Ethnographic observations from the Swedish Research Council review panel groups
2024 (English)In: The Social Production of Research: Perspectives on funding and gender / [ed] Sandra Acker; Oili-Helena Ylijoki; Michelle K. McGinn, London: Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE)/Routledge , 2024, p. 159-172Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Status as been described as an ancient form of social inequality that interpenetrates modern meritocratic institutions, including research and higher education. Status is a multifaceted social phenomenon that can affect the relations between people in many different ways. Despite political and normative changes that promote equal treatment of men and women, deep-rooted gender biases still exist as integral parts of the creation of status hierarchies in academic life. In this chapter, I illustrate this argument using a number of concrete situations from the Swedish Research Council panel groups in which some male reviewers responded with disrespect to the arguments presented by their female colleagues. The analysis is intended to shed new light on the social dramaturgy of gender-based status inequalities in the grant peer review process. It is unusual in putting the emphasis on the panellists’ detailed interactions rather than on the efforts to encourage gender equality in competition results through rule-changes and other prescriptive means. Moreover, it reveals the intersectionality of gender, age and esteem in shaping the behaviour of panellists.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE)/Routledge, 2024
Series
Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE)
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-226442 (URN)10.4324/9781003330431-15 (DOI)9781003330431 (ISBN)
Available from: 2024-02-11 Created: 2024-02-11 Last updated: 2024-05-06Bibliographically approved
Roumbanis, L. (2023). New Arguments for a pure lottery in Research Funding: A Sketch for a Future Science Policy Without Time-Consuming Grant Competitions. Minerva
Open this publication in new window or tab >>New Arguments for a pure lottery in Research Funding: A Sketch for a Future Science Policy Without Time-Consuming Grant Competitions
2023 (English)In: Minerva, ISSN 0026-4695, E-ISSN 1573-1871Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

A critical debate has blossomed within the field of research policy, science and technology studies, and philosophy of science regarding the possible benefits and limitations of allocating extramural grants using a lottery system. The most common view among those supporting the lottery idea is that some form of modified lottery is acceptable, if properly combined with peer review. This means that partial randomization can be applied only after experts have screened the pursuit-worthiness of all submitted proposals and sorted out those of lowest quality. In the present paper, I will argue against the use of partial lotteries or partial randomization and instead promote use of a pure lottery in combination with a radical increase in block funding. The main reason for holding this position is that a partial lottery cannot solve the problems inherent in the current funding system, which is based on grant competitions and peer review. A partial lottery cannot decrease the enormous time-waste, reduce the uneven distribution of time between researchers, neutralize expert biases or mitigate academic power asymmetries. Instead, we need a stronger focus on improving general time management in academia by implementing a more holistic model for organizing research opportunities in the future.

National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-224045 (URN)10.1007/s11024-023-09514-y (DOI)001098644000001 ()2-s2.0-85175609137 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2019-02550Stockholm University
Available from: 2023-11-27 Created: 2023-11-27 Last updated: 2024-02-09Bibliographically approved
Roumbanis, L. (2022). Disagreement and Agonistic Chance in Peer Review. Science, Technology and Human Values, 47(6), 1302-1333
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Disagreement and Agonistic Chance in Peer Review
2022 (English)In: Science, Technology and Human Values, ISSN 0162-2439, E-ISSN 1552-8251, Vol. 47, no 6, p. 1302-1333Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of grant peer review is to identify the most excellent and pro- mising research projects. However, sociologists of science and STS scholars have shown that peer review tends to promote solid low-risk projects at the expense of more original and innovative projects that often come with higher risk. It has also been shown that the review process is affected by significant measures of chance. Against this background, the aim of this study is to the- orize the notions of academic judgment and agonistic chance and to present and analyze situations in which expert reviewers are faced with the challenge of trying to decide which grant proposals to select when there is strong dis- agreement. The empirical analysis is based on ethnographic observations of ten panel groups at the Swedish Research Council in the areas of natural and engineering sciences. By focusing on disagreement, the study provides a more in-depth understanding of how agonistic chance creeps into the peer-review process and becomes part of the consensus that is created.

Keywords
peer review, academic judgment, agonistic chance, disagreement, consensus, evaluative crossroads, aporetic position, radical compromise
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-199499 (URN)10.1177/01622439211026016 (DOI)000667860500001 ()2-s2.0-85108799018 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2021-12-09 Created: 2021-12-09 Last updated: 2023-10-09Bibliographically approved
Roumbanis, L. (2021). Disagreements in scientific peer review: challenges and opportunities. In: : . Paper presented at CIRCUS 3rd Annual Symposium "Debating Research Together", Uppsala University, 6-7 December, 2021, online.. Uppsala: Uppsala universitet
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Disagreements in scientific peer review: challenges and opportunities
2021 (English)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Uppsala universitet, 2021
Keywords
disagreements, peer review, evaluation, academic judgments, innovation
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-199500 (URN)
Conference
CIRCUS 3rd Annual Symposium "Debating Research Together", Uppsala University, 6-7 December, 2021, online.
Available from: 2021-12-09 Created: 2021-12-09 Last updated: 2022-02-08
Roumbanis, L. (2021). [Reviewer Report] Comments by Roumbanis to Conix, De Block and Vaesen (2021) “Grant writing and grant peer review as questionable research practices”.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>[Reviewer Report] Comments by Roumbanis to Conix, De Block and Vaesen (2021) “Grant writing and grant peer review as questionable research practices”
2021 (English)Other (Other academic)
Keywords
peer review, research funding, ethos of science
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-198598 (URN)
Note

Peer review report for Grant writing and grant peer review as questionable research practices [version 1; peer review: 1 approved].

F1000Research 2021, 10:1126 (https://doi.org/10.5256/f1000research.77582.r99418)

12 Nov 2021 for Version 1.

Available from: 2021-11-12 Created: 2021-11-12 Last updated: 2022-11-15Bibliographically approved
Roumbanis, L. (2021). The oracles of science: On grant peer review and competitive funding. Social Science Information, 60(3), 356-362
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The oracles of science: On grant peer review and competitive funding
2021 (English)In: Social Science Information, ISSN 0539-0184, E-ISSN 1461-7412, Vol. 60, no 3, p. 356-362Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

From a purely epistemological point of view, evaluating and predicting the future success of new research projects is often considered very difficult. Is it possible to forecast important findings and breakthrough in science, and if not, then what is the point trying to do it anyway? Still, that is what funding agencies all over the world expect their reviewers to do, but a number of previous studies has shown that this form of evaluation of innovation, promise and future impact are a fundamentally uncertain and arbitrary practice. This is the context that I will discuss in the present essay, and I will claim that there is a deeply irrational element embedded in today's heavy reliance on experts to screen, rank and select among the increasing numbers of good research projects, because they can, in principal, never discern the true potential behind the written proposals. Hence, I think it is motivated to see grant peer review as an 'oracle of science'. My overall focus will be on the limits of competitive funding and also that the writing and reviewing of proposals is a waste of researchers' precious time. And I will propose that we really need to develop new ways of thinking about how we organize research and distribute opportunities within academia.

Keywords
competitive funding, ex ante assessment, peer review, research evaluation, scientific thinking
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-195948 (URN)10.1177/05390184211019241 (DOI)000671599100001 ()
Available from: 2021-08-31 Created: 2021-08-31 Last updated: 2022-11-15Bibliographically approved
Roumbanis, L. (2020). Tvetydigheter, oenighet och slumpens diskreta inflytande i peer review processen. Stockholm: Stockholms centrum för forskning om offentlig sektor (SCORE), Stockholms universitet
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Tvetydigheter, oenighet och slumpens diskreta inflytande i peer review processen
2020 (Swedish)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Den moderna vetenskapen genomsyras av kollegial bedömning – peer review – som på olika sätt fungerar som en intern granskningsprocedur. När anslag ska fördelas till nya forskningsprojekt spelar denna sakkunnighetsbaserade instans en central roll i att generera kollektiviserade beslut. Bedömningen av forskningsansökningars kvalitet har dock visat sig innehålla ett ganska stort mått av tvetydigheter och slump som på ett ofrånkomligt sätt inverkar på de beslutsunderlag som skapas. Trots att peer review kretsar kring att de sakkunniga tillsammans eftersträvar konsensus, präglas denna konsensus likväl av stora variationer och oenighet om hur vissa ansökningar ska värderas. Genom att närmare studera hur oenighet kommer till uttryck och hanteras inom olika beredningsgrupper är det emellertid möjligt att få en fördjupad förståelse för den subtila relationen mellan slump och konsensus i peer review processen.

Följande studie baseras på observationer gjorda på tio av Vetenskapsrådets beredningsgrupper inom natur- och teknikvetenskaper. Den metodologiska utgångspunkten som valts består i att illustrera ett antal fall av oenighet, för att därigenom belysa skillnaderna i hur man kom fram till en praktisk lösning. En problematik som särskilt kommer beröras har att göra med det faktum att oenighet påfallande ofta leder till att bedömarna slår ut varandras favoritansökningar. Detta tar i sin tur på den mer övergripande frågan om hur den enskildes expertkänsla i vissa situationer ställs i direkt motsättning till gruppens samlade expertis, något som kanske inte alltid medför de mest tillfredställande besluten i termer av innovation och risk.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholms centrum för forskning om offentlig sektor (SCORE), Stockholms universitet, 2020. p. 21
Series
SCORE rapportserie, ISSN 1404-5052 ; 2020:1
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-179065 (URN)978-91-88833-06-8 (ISBN)
Available from: 2020-02-17 Created: 2020-02-17 Last updated: 2022-02-26Bibliographically approved
Roumbanis, L. (2020). Two dogmas of peer-reviewism. Journal of Responsible Innovation, 7(S2), S129-S133
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Two dogmas of peer-reviewism
2020 (English)In: Journal of Responsible Innovation, ISSN 2329-9460, E-ISSN 2329-9037, Vol. 7, no S2, p. S129-S133Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Keywords
peer review, lottery, research funding, research policy
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-188376 (URN)10.1080/23299460.2020.1855806 (DOI)000603062800009 ()
Available from: 2021-01-05 Created: 2021-01-05 Last updated: 2022-11-15Bibliographically approved
Roumbanis, L. (2019). Blind Luck – Could lotteries be a more efficient mechanism for allocating research funds than peer review?. London: The London School of Economics and Political Science
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Blind Luck – Could lotteries be a more efficient mechanism for allocating research funds than peer review?
2019 (English)Other (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Peer review is integral to the award of funds for academic research. However, as an increasingly large number of researchers attempt to secure limited funding, it is clear that much funding is awarded based on marginal assessments of the quality of different proposals. In this post, Lambros Roumbanis argues that randomly awarding research funding via lotteries presents a more rational, efficient and most importantly unbiased means of distributing research funding.

Place, publisher, year, pages
London: The London School of Economics and Political Science, 2019
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-179397 (URN)
Available from: 2020-02-26 Created: 2020-02-26 Last updated: 2022-02-26Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-5118-4124

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