Big Brother and Digitometrics
harnad at ECS.SOTON.AC.UK
Thu Aug 17 11:28:03 EDT 2006
Pertinent Prior AmSci Topic Threads:
"Big Brother and Digitometrics" (May 2001)
"Scientometric OAI Search Engines" (Aug 2002)
"Need for systematic scientometric analyses of open-access data"
"Potential Metric Abuses (and their Potential Metric Antidotes)"
"Future UK RAEs to be Metrics-Based" (Mar 2006)
"Let 1000 RAE Metric Flowers Bloom: Avoid Matthew Effect as
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy" (Jun 2006)
"Australia stirs on metrics" (Jun 2006)
This is not a recommendation or endorsement of the paper below (which I have
only skimmed, not read, and which Gene Garfield finds a "diatribe").
The paper was written by Mike Sosteric in 1999, hence before either
(1) the Open Access (OA) era or (2) the potential of OA "cybermetrics"
had as yet come into focus.
The paper is focussed more on pedagogy than on research progress and
productivity (and speaks of "cybernetics" rather than "cybermetics").
It includes some reasonable rants against the increasingly "corporate"
tendencies of Academe, and against regression on the mean by mechanically
But the paper does not yet seem to see beyond one-dimensional citation
counts to the vast, rich new world of research performance metrics that
the OA age is in reality opening up. (I suspect that Mike Sosteric has
since updated his views.)
OA metrics, like all metrics -- e.g., psychometrics, in human aptitude and
performance testing; biometrics in human clinical medicine, epidemiology,
and forensic research and applications. etc. -- need to be empirically
tested for their reliability and validity in measuring and predicting
what we want to measure and predict, but they are surely no more of a
curse than either numbers or words or data are, in trying to make sense
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2006 15:57:47 -0400
From: Eugene Garfield <eugene.garfield AT THOMSON.COM>
To: SIGMETRICS AT LISTSERV.UTK.EDU
Subject: Endowing mediocrity
I just came across this diatribe, but thought it should be brought to
the attention of Sigmetrics readers. I found that it was cited in six
papers listed below.
Sosteric, Mike. (1999). Endowing Mediocrity: Neoliberalism, Information
Technology, and the Decline of Radical Pedagogy. Radical Pedagogy: 1, 1.
Trends in the usage of ISI bibliometric data: Uses, abuses, and implications
PORTAL-LIBRARIES AND THE ACADEMY 5 (1): 105-125 JAN 2005
Davenport E, Snyder HW
Managing social capital
ANNUAL REVIEW OF INFORMATION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 39: 517-550 2005
The International Consortium for the Advancement of Academic Publication
- an idea whose time has come (finally!) LEARNED PUBLISHING 17 (4):
319-325 OCT 2004
Cronin B, Shaw D
Banking (on) different forms of symbolic capital
JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR INFORMATION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 53 (14): 1267-1270 DEC 2002
Halliday L, Oppenheim C
Developments in digital journals
JOURNAL OF DOCUMENTATION 57 (2): 260-283 MAR 2001
Semiotics and evaluative bibliometrics
JOURNAL OF DOCUMENTATION 56 (4): 440-453 JUL 2000
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