Highly novel research proposals ‘being systematically rejected’
Times Higher Education - 04/26/2016
Highly novel ideas received worse ratings than those with only moderate novelty, the study found, although those with little novelty also scored poorly.
Christoph Riedl, a co-author and assistant professor for information systems at Northeastern University, explained to Times Higher Education that “humans just have cognitive limits in what they are able to understand”.
“Evaluators systematically misconstrued ideas that were outside their established paradigms,” he said. This “bounded rationality” was the most convincing reason for why assessors failed to appreciate highly novel plans, according to the paper, “Looking across and looking beyond the knowledge frontier: intellectual distance, novelty, and resource allocation in science”, published in Management Science.