Decision Science Digest: February 7, 2022


Ashley Smith
Public Affairs Coordinator

Decision Science Digest: February 7, 2022

BALTIMORE, MD, February 7, 2022 – EDITOR’S NOTE: Decision Science Digest is a periodic communique highlighting recent peer-reviewed research published by INFORMS, the largest association for the decision and data sciences, across its 17 journals. This issue highlights four press releases based on the findings of new peer-reviewed articles. 

  • Want the Job, But Don’t Meet Every Qualification? Study Shows Direct Messaging Employers Increases Your Chances of Getting Hired (INFORMS journal Information Systems Research)
  • New Research Says Ratings Questions Can Help Readers Identify Fake News (INFORMS journal Information Systems Research)
  • Re-evaluating Blood Pressure Treatments Can Improve Health by Better Utilizing Existing Treatments (INFORMS journal Management Science)
  • Study Shows Startup Growth is Reliant on Physical Infrastructure (INFORMS journal Management Science)


New Research Finds Direct Messaging Employers Can Help Not-Quite Qualified Candidates Land a Job

New research in the INFORMS journal Information Systems Research looks at the effect of applicants’ use of direct messaging (DM) systems on employers’ hiring decisions. In the paper, “Just DM Me (Politely): Direct Messaging, Politeness, and Hiring Outcomes in Online Labor Markets,” the researchers look at data on the DM activities between candidates and employers across more than 470,000 job applications on a leading online labor market. The authors find that DM’ing with a prospective employer increases a candidate’s probability of being hired by 8.9%. This effect is amplified for applicants at a disadvantage for the job, such as lacking tenure, etc. The effects also depend on message content. The authors find that the politeness of the applicant is taken into consideration, and the benefits weaken in the presence of typographical errors. Link to full article.

Identifying Fake News: Rating Questions Help Users Critically Examine News Articles on Social Media

New research in the INFORMS journal Information Systems Research suggest that asking users to evaluate the truthfulness of news articles on social media using self-referential rating questions may encourage them to think more critically about what they’re reading. In the paper, “Do You Really Know if It’s True? How Asking Users to Rate Stories Affects Belief in Fake News on Social Media,” the researchers assessed 68 social media users’ believability of 42 social media articles. Research has shown that ratings influence effects on belief in news articles on social media. Typically, social media users who submit ratings for news articles lack firsthand knowledge of the news, making it difficult for most users to accurately rate news articles. Triggering users who create the ratings to realize they lack this firsthand knowledge pushes them to be more skeptical of articles they read. Link to full article.

Study Finds New Guidelines for Blood Pressure Treatment Can Lower the Risk of Heart Disease and Death

New research in the INFORMS journal Management Science is encouraging doctors to think differently. Doctors decide whether to begin blood pressure (BP) treatment in patients by separately considering the two measurements of blood pressure: systolic and diastolic. The work showcased in the paper “An Analytics Approach to Guide Randomized Controlled Trials in Hypertension Management,” shows that considering both parts together improves health by reducing the risk of heart disease and death. The authors note that patients with moderate-high systolic and diastolic BP, but below current guidelines, can benefit from treatment. Patients with moderate-high diastolic BP but moderate-low systolic BP may be at increased risk following current national guidelines. Link to full article.

Research Shows That in a Digital World, Physical Infrastructure is Still Needed for Startup Expansion

As much as the world has turned to online and digital, research shows physical infrastructure still matters. In the paper, “Beyond Spatial Proximity: The Impact of Enhanced Spatial Connectedness from New Bridges on Entrepreneurship,” the authors find that even one new physical bridge in a city increases the number of high-growth startups by 16%. This work, found in the INFORMS journal Management Science, shows that physical connective infrastructure has a key role in facilitating startup growth. It also results in ventures that attract more founders and early-stage investors. Ventures also have greater novelty in terms of self-reported recombination across disparate knowledge areas and spanning more industry categories. Link to full article.



INFORMS advances and promotes the science and technology of decision-making to save lives, save money, and solve problems. As the largest association for the decision and data sciences, INFORMS members support organizations and governments at all levels as they work to transform data into information, and information into insights that lead to more efficient, effective, equitable and impactful results. INFORMS’ 10,000+ members are comprised of a diverse and robust international community of practitioners, researchers, educators, and students from a variety of fields. 





Ashley Smith