Authors : Michael Fire, Carlos Guestrin
The academic publishing world is changing significantly, with ever-growing numbers of publications each year and shifting publishing patterns. However, the metrics used to measure academic success, such as the number of publications, citation number, and impact factor, have not changed for decades.
Moreover, recent studies indicate that these metrics have become targets and follow Goodhart’s Law, according to which, “when a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.”
In this study, we analyzed >120 million papers to examine how the academic publishing world has evolved over the last century, with a deeper look into the specific field of biology. Our study shows that the validity of citation-based measures is being compromised and their usefulness is lessening.
In particular, the number of publications has ceased to be a good metric as a result of longer author lists, shorter papers, and surging publication numbers. Citation-based metrics, such citation number and h-index, are likewise affected by the flood of papers, self-citations, and lengthy reference lists.
Measures such as a journal’s impact factor have also ceased to be good metrics due to the soaring numbers of papers that are published in top journals, particularly from the same pool of authors.
Moreover, by analyzing properties of >2,600 research fields, we observed that citation-based metrics are not beneficial for comparing researchers in different fields, or even in the same department.
Authors : B. Preedip Balaji, M. Dhanamjaya
Digital scholarship and electronic publishing among the scholarly communities are changing when metrics and open infrastructures take centre stage for measuring research impact. In scholarly communication, the growth of preprint repositories over the last three decades as a new model of scholarly publishing has emerged as one of the major developments.
As it unfolds, the landscape of scholarly communication is transitioning, as much is being privatized as it is being made open and towards alternative metrics, such as social media attention, author-level, and article-level metrics. Moreover, the granularity of evaluating research impact through new metrics and social media change the objective standards of evaluating research performance.
Using preprint repositories as a case study, this article situates them in a scholarly web, examining their salient features, benefits, and futures. Towards scholarly web development and publishing on semantic and social web with open infrastructures, citations, and alternative metrics—how preprints advance building web as data is discussed.
We examine that this will viably demonstrate new metrics and in enhancing research publishing tools in scholarly commons facilitating various communities of practice.
However, for the preprint repositories to sustain, scholarly communities and funding agencies should support continued investment in open knowledge, alternative metrics development, and open infrastructures in scholarly publishing.
URL : Preprints in Scholarly Communication: Re-Imagining Metrics and Infrastructures
DOI : https://doi.org/10.3390/publications7010006
Authors : Lisa Colledge, Chris James
To survey opinion of the assertion that useful metricbased input requires a “basket of metrics” to allow more varied and nuanced insights into merit than is possible by using one metric alone.
A poll was conducted to survey opinions (N=204; average response rate=61%) within the international research community on using usage metrics in merit systems.
“Research is best quantified using multiple criteria” was selected by most (40%) respondents as the reason that usage metrics are valuable, and 95% of respondents indicated that they would be likely or very likely to use usage metrics in their assessments of research merit, if they had access to them.
There was a similar degree of preference for simple and sophisticated usage metrics confirming that one size does not fit all, and that a one-metric approach to merit is insufficient.
This survey demonstrates a clear willingness and a real appetite to use a “basket of metrics” to broaden the ways in which research merit can be detected and demonstrated.
URL : http://europeanscienceediting.eu/articles/a-basket-of-metrics-the-best-support-for-understanding-journal-merit/
Authors : Juan Pablo Alperin, Gustavo E. Fischman, Erin C. McKiernan, Carol Muñoz Nieves, Meredith T. Niles, Lesley Schimanski
Much of the work of universities, even private institutions, has significant public dimensions. Faculty work in particular is often funded by public funds, is aimed at serving the public good, and is subject to public evaluation.
To understand how the public dimensions of faculty work are valued, we analyzed review, tenure and promotion documents from a representative sample of 129 Canadian and American universities.
We found terms and concepts related to public and community are mentioned in a large portion of documents, but mostly in ways that relate to service—an undervalued aspect of academic careers.
Moreover, we find significant mentions of traditional research outputs and citation-based metrics. Such outputs and metrics reward faculty work targeted to academics, and mostly disregard the public dimensions.
We conclude that institutions that want to live up to their public mission need to work towards systemic change in how faculty work is assessed and incentivized.
URL : How significant are the public dimensions of faculty work in review, promotion, and tenure documents?
DOI : https://hcommons.org/deposits/item/hc:21015
Authors : Cristiano Giuffrida, Giovanni Abramo, Ciriaco Andrea D’Angelo
Bibliometricians have long recurred to citation counts to measure the impact of publications on the advancement of science. However, since the earliest days of the field, some scholars have questioned whether all citations should value the same, and have gone on to weight them by a variety of factors.
However sophisticated the operationalization of the measures, the methodologies used in weighting citations still present limits in their underlying assumptions. This work takes an alternate approach to resolving the underlying problem: the proposal is to value citations by the impact of the citing articles.
As well as conceptualizing a new indicator of impact, the work illustrates its application to the 2004-2012 Italian scientific production indexed in the WoS.
The new indicator appears highly correlated to traditional field normalized citations, however the shifts observed between the two measures are frequent and the number of outliers not at all negligible. Moreover, the new indicator seems to show greater “sensitivity” when used in identification of the top-cited papers.
URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1809.06088
Auteurs/Authors : Vincent Larivière, Cassidy R. Sugimoto
L’ensemble de la communauté scientifique réclame depuis plusieurs années des indicateurs fiables permettant de mesurer les répercussions de la recherche. La ferveur inégalée autour de la mesure de l’influence de la recherche, combinée avec les nouveaux modes de diffusion des connaissances à l’ère numérique, a révolutionné le domaine de la scientométrie.
Il s’agit là d’une discipline qui comprend toutes les façons dont nous collectons les documents savants et analysons quantitativement leur production ainsi que leurs usages, des citations aux tweets. Les données et les indicateurs ainsi recueillis sont utilisés pour comprendre la science, stimuler la recherche ou distribuer les ressources.
Curieusement, il n’existe aucun ouvrage qui explique les fondements historiques, les concepts et les sources de la scientométrie, ou qui en fournirait une critique éclairée ou même qui formulerait des recommandations pour un usage optimal. D’où l’importance de celui-ci.
À sa façon, chacun est un acteur de la société du savoir et devrait se soucier des outils qui aident à guider son évolution : c’est pourquoi ce livre s’adresse à tous, savants comme profanes.
URL : https://pum.umontreal.ca/catalogue/mesurer-la-science/
Authors : Vincent Traag, Ludo Waltman
When performing a national research assessment, some countries rely on citation metrics whereas others, such as the UK, primarily use peer review. In the influential Metric Tide report, a low agreement between metrics and peer review in the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) was found.
However, earlier studies observed much higher agreement between metrics and peer review in the REF and argued in favour of using metrics. This shows that there is considerable ambiguity in the discussion on agreement between metrics and peer review.
We provide clarity in this discussion by considering four important points: (1) the level of aggregation of the analysis; (2) the use of either a size-dependent or a size-independent perspective; (3) the suitability of different measures of agreement; and (4) the uncertainty in peer review.
In the context of the REF, we argue that agreement between metrics and peer review should be assessed at the institutional level rather than at the publication level. Both a size-dependent and a size-independent perspective are relevant in the REF.
The interpretation of correlations may be problematic and as an alternative we therefore use measures of agreement that are based on the absolute or relative differences between metrics and peer review.
To get an idea of the uncertainty in peer review, we rely on a model to bootstrap peer review outcomes. We conclude that particularly in Physics, Clinical Medicine, and Public Health, metrics agree quite well with peer review and may offer an alternative to peer review.
URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1808.03491