As Goodhart’s law states: ‘when a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure’. Using bibliometrics to measure and assess researchers has become increasingly common, but does implementing these policies therefore devalue the metrics they are based on? In this post Alberto Baccini, Giuseppe De Nicolao and Eugenio Petrovich, present evidence from a study of Italian […]
Is who you know as important as what you know? Mapping the invisible colleges supporting academic prestige
A core principle of modern research culture according to the sociologist Robert Merton was ‘universalism’, the idea that the validity of ideas was independent of the status of the person making them. However, as a number of recent studies have shown in practice academia can also be exclusionary. In this post, Margath Walker shows how academic networks – invisible […]
The ways in which journals are indexed online is essential to how they can be searched for and found. Inclusion in certain indexes is also closely linked to quality assessment, with research funders often requiring their grantees to publish in outlets listed in certain indexes. In this post Danielle Padula explains the importance of good journal indexing and how […]
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent one of the largest and most sustained influences on global research to date. However, charting the effect of these 17 goals on the global research community is a complex task. In this post, Martin Szomszor draws on the findings of a recent bibliometric study to produce a ‘citation map’ of sustainability research, […]
The Journal Impact Factor (JIF) – a measure reflecting the average number of citations to recent articles published in a journal – has been widely critiqued as a measure of individual academic performance. However, it is unclear whether these criticisms and high profile declarations, such as DORA, have led to significant cultural change. In this post, Erin McKiernan, Juan Pablo Alperin […]
Altmetrics have become an increasingly ubiquitous part of scholarly communication, although the value they indicate is contested. In this post, Lutz Bornmann and Robin Haunschild present evidence from their recent study examining the relationship of peer review, altmetrics, and bibliometric analyses with societal and academic impact. Drawing on evidence from REF2014 submissions, they argue altmetrics may provide evidence for […]
The dominance of scholars from the global North is widespread, and this extends to the student curriculum. Data on reading lists shows large authorial imbalances, which has consequences for the methodological tools available in research and allows dominant paradigms in disciplines to remain unchallenged.
This post originally appeared on the Citing Africa Blog and is accompanied by a series of podcasts on […]
For genuinely open social science texts, the disguised elitism of citing paywall sources is no longer good enough
Drawing on their experience in producing a new open access textbook/handbook of UK politics, Patrick Dunleavy and Alice Park outline some inescapable dilemmas around referencing paywalled materials, and how they can be overcome. They also outline how creative design changes can enhance the advantages of a fully digital, open access book for citizens, students, and teachers.
What does doing genuinely […]
Flipping a journal to open access will boost its citation performance – but to what degree varies by publisher, field and rank
Many observers have drawn the logical conclusion that the increased exposure and visibility afforded by open access leads to improved citation performance of open access journals. Yang Li, Chaojiang Wu, Erjia Yan and Kai Li report on research examining the perceived open access advantage, paying particular attention to journals which have “flipped” to open access from a subscription model. […]
Multidisciplinary and cosmopolitan: how openness influences the academic impact of a scholar’s research
The academic impact of a scholar’s research remains of great importance to institutions, particularly business schools. Hyungseok (David) Yoon and Mustapha Belkhouja report on research examining how scholars’ openness to other disciplines and broader collaborations influences their academic impact, as determined by citation analysis. Findings suggest that the career stage of academics is an important factor, with early-career researchers […]
Using citation metrics as part of academic recruitment decisions leads to an increase in self-citations
The use of citation metrics in academic hiring and promotion decisions was intended as a response to important and legitimate concerns over the meritocracy of recruitment procedures. However, evidence suggests that doing so distorts scientists’ behaviour and increases the risk that these measures become unreliable. Marco Seeber, Mattia Cattaneo, Michele Meoli and Paolo Malighetti investigated the use of citation […]
Into oblivion: a closer look at the business, management and accounting research literature in Ibero-America
Faced with institutional requirements to publish in top-tier, international journals, researchers from Ibero-American countries often express concern that their work is becoming distant from their local communities. The value of participating in international debates and being able to influence the direction of research globally is sometimes provided as justification for this. But does this withstand scrutiny? Julián David Cortés-Sánchez […]
How to compare apples with oranges: using interdisciplinary “exchange rates” to evaluate publications across disciplines
Academic research performance is typically assessed on the basis of scientific productivity. While the number of publications may provide an accurate and useful metric of research performance within one discipline, interdisciplinary comparisons of publication counts prove much more problematic. To solve this problem, Timo Korkeamäki, Jukka Sihvonen, and Sami Vähämaa introduce interdisciplinary “exchange rates”, which can be used to […]
Peer review scams – in which reviews were submitted under the names of real researchers but with fake, non-institutional emails administered by those involved – have heightened curiosity about the email addresses used by researchers in their publications. Ronald Rousseau reports on research examining the prevalence of commercial email addresses in scholarly articles, their distribution per country, and whether […]
Making visible the impact of researchers working in languages other than English: developing the PLOTE index
As outlined in the Leiden Manifesto, if impact is understood in terms of citations to international publications, a bias is created against research which is regionally focused and engaged with local society problems. This is particularly critical for researchers working in contexts with languages other than English. Peter Dahler-Larsen has developed the PLOTE index, a new indicator which hopes […]
The literature review is a staple of the scholarly article. It allows authors to summarise previous work in the field and highlight what makes their own contribution an original or novel one. But when those previous studies are misrepresented by an author, or even dismissed altogether amid claims of a “paucity of research”, isn’t the knowledge base in fact […]
For many years, academia has relied on citation count as the main way to measure the impact or importance of research, informing metrics such as the Impact Factor and the h-index. But how well do these metrics actually align with researchers’ subjective evaluation of impact and significance? Rachel Borchardt and Matthew R. Hartings report on a study that compares […]
Academics today have to publish to succeed. In Publish or Perish: Perceived Benefits versus Unintended Consequences, Imad A. Moosa assesses the disastrous consequences of this view for academics, both personally and academically. Review by James Hartley.
This review originally appeared on LSE Review of Books and is published under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 UK license.
Publish or Perish: Perceived Benefits Versus Unintended Consequences. Imad A. […]
Is the peer review process simply a means by which errors are identified and corrected? Or is it a process in which a more constructive dialogue can take place and reviewers and editors may actively contribute to the text? John Rigby, Deborah Cox and Keith Julian have studied the published articles of a social sciences journal and found that the […]