For the test, Palan and his colleagues invited more than 3,000 people to review the paper, sometimes revealing one or other of the two authors’ names, and sometimes revealing neither. The name that was stamped on the paper affected whether people were willing to review it or not: invitation acceptance rates climbed from 29% when the junior author’s name was revealed to 36% when the laureate’s name was disclosed.
More importantly, knowledge of authorship markedly affected the reviewers’ opinions of the paper. Ignorance of the Nobel laureate’s authorship boosted recommended rejection rates nearly threefold, from 23% (when the laureate’s name was revealed) to 65% (when the little-known author’s name was revealed). Advice to accept the paper outright, or with minor revisions, skyrocketed sixfold — from 10% to 59% — when Smith’s authorship was declared.
The story in full is here.