Open Research Metrics

Stevan Harnad harnad at ECS.SOTON.AC.UK
Sat Dec 9 06:37:51 EST 2006

On Fri, 8 Dec 2006, Peter Suber wrote:

>   If the metrics have a stronger OA connection, can you say something
>   short (by email or on the blog) that I could quote for readers who
>   aren't clued in, esp. readers outside the UK?

Dear Peter,

Sure (and I'll blog this too, hyperlinked):

(1) In the UK (Research Assessment Exercise, RAE) and Australia (Research
Quality Framework, RQF) all researchers and institutions are evaluated for
"top-sliced" funding, over and above competitive research proposals.

(2) Everywhere in the world, researchers and research institutions have
research performance evaluations, on which careers/salaries, research funding
and institutional/departmental ratings depend.

(3) There is now a natural synergy growing between OA self-archiving,
Institutional Repositories (IRs), OA self-archiving mandates, and the
online "metrics" toward which both the RAE/RQF and research evaluation in
general are moving. 

(4) Each institution's IR is the natural place from which to derive and
display research performance indicators: publication counts, citation
counts, download counts, and many new metrics, rich and diverse ones,
that will be mined from the OA corpus, making research evaluation much
more open, sensitive to diversity, adapted to each discipline, predictive,
and equitable.

(5) OA Self-Archiving not only allows performance indicators (metrics)
to be collected and displayed, and new metrics to be developed, but OA
also enhances metrics (research impact), both competitively (OA vs. NOA)
and absolutely (Quality Advantage: OA benefits the best work the most,
and Early Advantage), as well as making possible the data-mining of the
OA corpus for research purposes. (Research Evaluation, Research
Navigation, and Research Data-Mining are also very closely related.)

(6) This powerful and promising synergy between Open Research and Open
Metrics is hence also a strong incentive for institutional and funder
OA mandates, which will in turn hasten 100% OA: Their connection needs
to be made clear, and the message needs to be spread to researchers,
their institutions, and their funders.

Best wishes,


PS Needless to say, closed, internal, non-displayed metrics are also 
feasible, where appropriate.

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