Competence-Based Management Research in the Web of Science and Scopus Databases: Scientific Production, Collaboration, and Impact

Authors : Vítor Vasata Macchi Silva, José Luis Duarte Ribeiro, Gonzalo Rubén Alvarez, Sonia Elisa Caregnato

This paper presents a bibliometric study, which seeks to characterize papers that address competence-based management and that are indexed in the Web of Science and Scopus databases in terms of scientific production, collaboration, and impact.

All the papers published in journals or in conference proceedings that contained the terms “competenc* management” or “compentenc* based management” in their titles, abstracts, or keywords were analyzed.

The results show that computational sciences, human resources management, strategic management, and industrial relations and labor correspond to the macro-categories that characterize competence-based management.

This paper also indicates that collaborations between authors do not establish strong co-authorship networks. It also shows that the most cited papers were published in journals of different areas.

It concludes that studies conducted in the area of competence-based management can be developed in a more assertive way if they take into consideration the context of the current state of research in this area.

URL : Competence-Based Management Research in the Web of Science and Scopus Databases: Scientific Production, Collaboration, and Impact

Alternative location : https://www.mdpi.com/2304-6775/7/4/60

Science and its significant other: Representing the humanities in bibliometric scholarship

Authors : Thomas Franssen, Paul Wouters

The cognitive and social structures, and publication practices, of the humanities have been studied bibliometrically for the past 50 years. This article explores the conceptual frameworks, methods, and data sources used in bibliometrics to study the nature of the humanities, and its differences and similarities in comparison with other scientific domains.

We give a historical overview of bibliometric scholarship between 1965 and 2018 that studies the humanities empirically and distinguishes between two periods in which the configuration of the bibliometric system differs remarkably.

The first period, 1965 to the 1980s, is characterized by bibliometric methods embedded in a sociological theoretical framework, the development and use of the Price Index, and small samples of journal publications from which references are used as data sources.

The second period, the 1980s to the present day, is characterized by a new intellectual hinterland—that of science policy and research evaluation—in which bibliometric methods become embedded.

Here metadata of publications becomes the primary data source with which publication profiles of humanistic scholarly communities are analyzed. We unpack the differences between these two periods and critically discuss the analytical avenues that different approaches offer.

URL : Science and its significant other: Representing the humanities in bibliometric scholarship

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.24206

The Two-Way Street of Open Access Journal Publishing: Flip It and Reverse It

Authors : Lisa Matthias, Najko Jahn, Mikael Laakso

As Open access (OA) is often perceived as the end goal of scholarly publishing, much research has focused on flipping subscription journals to an OA model. Focusing on what can happen after the presumed finish line, this study identifies journals that have converted from OA to a subscription model, and places these “reverse flips” within the greater context of scholarly publishing.

In particular, we examine specific journal descriptors, such as access mode, publisher, subject area, society affiliation, article volume, and citation metrics, to deepen our understanding of reverse flips.

Our results show that at least 152 actively publishing journals have reverse-flipped since 2005, suggesting that this phenomenon does not constitute merely a few marginal outliers, but instead a common pattern within scholarly publishing.

Notably, we found that 62% of reverse flips (N = 95) had not been born-OA journals, but had been founded as subscription journals, and hence have experienced a three-stage transformation from closed to open to closed.

We argue that reverse flips present a unique perspective on OA, and that further research would greatly benefit from enhanced data and tools for identifying such cases.

URL : The Two-Way Street of Open Access Journal Publishing: Flip It and Reverse It 

DOI : https://doi.org/10.3390/publications7020023

Does bibliometric research confer legitimacy to research assessment practice? A sociological study of reputational control, 1972-2016

Authors : Arlette Jappe, David Pithan, Thomas Heinze

The use of bibliometric measures in the evaluation of research has increased considerably based on expertise from the growing research field of evaluative citation analysis (ECA).

However, mounting criticism of such metrics suggests that the professionalization of bibliometric expertise remains contested. This paper investigates why impact metrics, such as the journal impact factor and the h-index, proliferate even though their legitimacy as a means of professional research assessment is questioned.

Our analysis is informed by two relevant sociological theories: Andrew Abbott’s theory of professions and Richard Whitley’s theory of scientific work. These complementary concepts are connected in order to demonstrate that ECA has failed so far to provide scientific authority for professional research assessment.

This argument is based on an empirical investigation of the extent of reputational control in the relevant research area. Using three measures of reputational control that are computed from longitudinal inter-organizational networks in ECA (1972–2016), we show that peripheral and isolated actors contribute the same number of novel bibliometric indicators as central actors. In addition, the share of newcomers to the academic sector has remained high.

These findings demonstrate that recent methodological debates in ECA have not been accompanied by the formation of an intellectual field in the sociological sense of a reputational organization.

Therefore, we conclude that a growing gap exists between an academic sector with little capacity for collective action and increasing demand for routine performance assessment by research organizations and funding agencies.

This gap has been filled by database providers. By selecting and distributing research metrics, these commercial providers have gained a powerful role in defining de-facto standards of research excellence without being challenged by expert authority.

URL : Does bibliometric research confer legitimacy to research assessment practice? A sociological study of reputational control, 1972-2016

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0199031

Opium in science and society: Numbers

Authors : Julian N. Marewski, Lutz Bornmann

In science and beyond, numbers are omnipresent when it comes to justifying different kinds of judgments. Which scientific author, hiring committee-member, or advisory board panelist has not been confronted with page-long “publication manuals”, “assessment reports”, “evaluation guidelines”, calling for p-values, citation rates, h-indices, or other statistics in order to motivate judgments about the “quality” of findings, applicants, or institutions?

Yet, many of those relying on and calling for statistics do not even seem to understand what information those numbers can actually convey, and what not. Focusing on the uninformed usage of bibliometrics as worrysome outgrowth of the increasing quantification of science and society, we place the abuse of numbers into larger historical contexts and trends.

These are characterized by a technology-driven bureaucratization of science, obsessions with control and accountability, and mistrust in human intuitive judgment. The ongoing digital revolution increases those trends.

We call for bringing sanity back into scientific judgment exercises. Despite all number crunching, many judgments – be it about scientific output, scientists, or research institutions – will neither be unambiguous, uncontroversial, or testable by external standards, nor can they be otherwise validated or objectified.

Under uncertainty, good human judgment remains, for the better, indispensable, but it can be aided, so we conclude, by a toolbox of simple judgment tools, called heuristics.

In the best position to use those heuristics are research evaluators (1) who have expertise in the to-be-evaluated area of research, (2) who have profound knowledge in bibliometrics, and (3) who are statistically literate.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1804.11210

How to counter undeserving authorship

Authors: Stefan Eriksson, Tove Godskesen, Lars Andersson, Gert Helgesson

The average number of authors listed on contributions to scientific journals has increased considerably over time. While this may be accounted for by the increased complexity of much research and a corresponding need for extended collaboration, several studies suggest that the prevalence of non-deserving authors on research papers is alarming.

In this paper a combined qualitative and quantitative approach is suggested to reduce the number of undeserving authors on academic papers: 1) ask scholars who apply for positions to explain the basics of a random selection of their co-authored papers, and 2) in bibliometric measurements, divide publications and citations by the number of authors.

URL : How to counter undeserving authorship

DOI : http://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.395