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Updated: Fri, 07/12/2024 - 12:16

McGill Alert. The downtown campus will remain partially closed through the evening of Monday, July 15. See the Campus Safety site for details.

Alerte de McGill. Le campus du centre-ville restera partiellement fermé jusqu’au lundi 15 juillet, en soirée. Complément d’information : Direction de la protection et de la prévention


More than the Quantity: The Value of Editorial Reviews for a UGC Platform

Published: 8 September 2021

Authors: Y. Deng, J. Zheng, Warut Khern-am-nuai, and K.N. Kannan

Publication: Management Science, Forthcoming


We investigate an editorial review program for which a review platform supplements user reviews with editorial ones written by professional writers. Specifically, we examine whether and how editorial reviews influence subsequent user reviews (reviews written by non-editor reviewers). A quasi-experiment conducted on a leading review platform in Asia, based on several econometric and natural language processing techniques, yields empirical evidence of an overall positive effect of editorial reviews on subsequent user reviews from the platform’s perspective. More reviews are provided for restaurants that receive editorial reviews, suggesting a herding effect, as users are more inclined to follow editors’ choice of restaurants to review. These reviews discuss substantive topics while also including a discussion on other topics, leading to a net increase in content length and variety. They also are more neutral in sentiment and are associated with lower rating valences. Further analysis of the mechanism reveals that the subsequent user reviews of the restaurants that receive editorial reviews become more similar to the editorial reviews in regard to topics, sentiment/rating, length, and readability, indicating a herding effect in how to write a review as the main driver of the change in the subsequent reviews. We further empirically isolate this herding effect among long-time reviewers. The findings suggest that review platforms could use an editorial review program to not only boost review quantity but also manage the content quality. By supplementing high-quality editorial reviews with user reviews, the platform can improve the overall content quality of user reviews.

Desautels 22

In recognition of research excellence as it relates to publications in top-tier management journals, our Faculty has compiled a list of high quality, peer-reviewed management journals, which is referred to as the Desautels 22.

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