Decision Science Digest: July 14, 2022


Ashley Smith
Public Affairs Coordinator

Decision Science Digest: July 14, 2022

BALTIMORE, MD, July 14­­­­­­, 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.

  • New Research Recommends Expansion of Bone Marrow Registry and Cord Blood Banks: What’s Needed to Save Lives? (INFORMS journal Manufacturing & Service Operations Management)
  • Fake Reviews Cause Product Sales to Spike, but it’s not Worth it (INFORMS journal Marketing Science)
  • New Method Optimizes Driver Choices While Maintaining Platform Success and Customer Satisfaction (INFORMS journal Transportation Science)
  • New Study Finds Parents are Key to Whether Children Go into STEM Field (INFORMS journal Management Science)

Saving Lives with Cord Blood and Bone Marrow: New Research Details If There is Enough for Every Patient Who Needs It

Recent reports suggest the number of cord blood units currently in storage in U.S. public banks is too high, but new research in the INFORMS journal Manufacturing & Service Operations Management finds a 26% expansion in cord blood bank capacity is still required before the inventory level approaches optimal. Meanwhile, the current total number of registered bone marrow donors in the U.S., estimated at approximately 11.5 million donors, would need to increase by 52% to reach the optimal levels. These findings illustrate the optimal number of bone marrow donors and cord blood units a country must maintain to save as many patients who require stem cell transplants as possible, in a cost-effective way. The authors support calls for further expansion of the national bone marrow registry and cord blood banks in the U.S. They also propose annual recruitment targets for bone marrow donors and cord blood units to maintain the two institutions at their optimal sizes. Link to full article.

Fake Reviews Aren’t Helping Sell Products, Instead It’s Short-Lived Success

There is a large market for fake reviews for consumer products and a big portion of that is taking place in Facebook groups. Fake reviews are extremely common and bought by a wide variety of products, including well-established products with many existing reviews and high ratings. New research in the INFORMS journal Marketing Science looks at private Facebook groups in which fake Amazon product reviews are bought and sold to study how the market for fake reviews operates, how effective fake reviews are for boosting seller profits, and how they impact consumers. The results show that fake reviews cause sales and ratings to spike temporarily, but in the long-run, products buying fake reviews receive a lot of low (one-star) ratings and they do not lead to self-sustaining increases in sales. The researchers say fake reviews are mainly used by quality sellers trying to get established, instead they are primarily bought by low quality products and likely harm consumers. Link to full article.

New Research Finds a Win-Win for Independent Platform Drivers, The Platform and Consumer Requests

There has been a push from society and governments to provide more autonomy to independent platform workers. New research in the INFORMS journal Transportation Science finds a way to support workers’ choices about the jobs they want to complete, in a way that balances other stakeholders needs (including the platform and demand requests). The results suggest giving choices of which requests drivers want to help with can balance demand commitments and the need to provide more autonomy to drivers. This research optimizes the choices and is helpful for the platform, suppliers and demand requests, as it can increase platform revenue, increase number of matches, reduce waiting time for suppliers and requests to get matched. Link to full article.

The Future of STEM: Why Parents are Pushing Their Sons and Not Daughters

New research in the INFORMS journal Management Science finds that the encouragement from parents to children to become an inventor disfavors daughters if they have a (second-born) brother. The researchers continue this analysis looking at the role of parental factors at different stages of children’s education. The results confirm that parental role models matter for children’s education, especially at early stages and, through this, increase the probability of a child’s becoming interested in pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). However, the direct transmission of inventorship that favors boys much more than girls seems to be affected by gendered expectations developed by parents about daughters’ and sons’ returns from inventorship. Parents use their own interpretation of external information about inventive jobs to contribute to creating or limiting opportunities for their children. 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




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