Eugene Garfield egarfield at ROCKETMAIL.COM
Thu Aug 10 23:42:06 EDT 2000

Gretchen and I(Gene) welcome any discussion or
criticism. I can assure you that my sdi profile is not
simply based on my name and used key words such as
citation analysis, bibliometrics,etc. As a matter of
fact, it would take pages to dispplay the entire
profile that I have developed over the past thirty odd
years. It takes in any paper that has cited any one of
a list of key journals, but that does not mean I pick
up every conceivable paper that over 200 SIGMET
members might be interested in. That is why everyone
is encouraged to submit their candidate papers either
by title, abstract,etc. with or without critical
comments. BEst wishes from down under. Eugene Garfield
--- "Quentin L. Burrell"
<familyburrell at ENTERPRISE.NET> wrote:
> When she signed off from the abstracting service -
> for a well-earned holiday or  - Gretchen said that
> the listserv would still be there for discussion. So
> here goes, with apologies if I seem a little
> disrespectful at times, but the aim is to provoke
> response!
> 1. For me, one of the major disappointments of
> SIGMETRICS has been the lack of discussion or
> debate. There have been a few attempts at
> encouraging discussion, for instance the power law
> vs exponential law description/modelling of
> scientometric phenomenon. But here, a haughty,
> intemperate and somewhat inaccurate response to
> Rousseau's very pertinent comment brought all
> discussion to a close. (I apologise, I really should
> have joined in at that stage.) Also a very few
> contributors have offered data and some analysis but
> these seem not to have stimulated any sort of debate
> on such things as alternative models for the data or
> methodology for the fitting of models.
> Why is this? Does nobody have ideas? Does nobody
> have questions? Or are we all protecting our ideas
> ready for publication?
> 2. The way it has developed over the past six months
> or so, SIGMETRICS seems to be primarily a vehicle
> for sending out "relevant" abstracts. A
> non-scientific perusal of these suggests to me that
> a word-search on the name "Garfield" in the list of
> references, i.e. a citation search, of possible
> papers is used as the sole criterion. (Please
> correct me!)  IMHO, reference to Eugene Garfield's
> work, valuable though it is, is neither a necessary
> nor a sufficient condition for relevance to the
> general field of Sigmetrics (even though I still
> have some difficulties with this term!). If this is
> the case, then should we perhaps be seeking a rather
> wider abstracting search? And how should listmembers
> contribute - we can't just rely on Gretchen.
> 3. In case the above all seems rather critical, let
> me finish with a question which should at least
> warrant factual response but will hopefully engender
> some discussion.
> It seems that so many "research" papers currently
> mentioned have titles like "A citation analysis of
> papers in X, Y or Z" or "The Impact Factor of
> journals in A, B or C" which are eerily reminiscent
> of the situation a couple of decades ago when we had
> many papers presenting "Bradford's law applied to
> ..." or "A Bradford analysis of ..." and all leading
> to nothing. The problem in those early days was that
> the importance of the time dimension had not been
> realised - it was thought that Bradford's law
> (whether or not it was true!) - was the same whether
> we were looking at a "collection" for one year or
> ten. (And nobody bothered to check!) Is not the same
> true for much of the current research?
> Where is the theory of time dependent citation
> analysis? Is there an accepted stochastic theory?
> Indeed, is there any successful theory or do we just
> have a collection of empirical studies?
> If this latter is the case, then what is the real
> value of citation analysis and can it have any
> scientifically justifiable role in the policy
> decision making process?
> Over to you.
> Quentin Burrell

Eugene Garfield, President, American Society for Information Science & Technology
 www.asis.orgChairman Emeritus, ISI,3501 Market St,Philadelphia, PA 19104
 www.isinet.comPublisher,THE SCIENTIST,3600 Market St,Philadelphia,PA 19104
 www.the-scientist.comTel: 215-243-2205 // Fax: 215-387-1266 // E-mail: garfield at codex.cis.upenn.edu
 Personal Web site: www.eugenegarfield.org

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