An early commetnary on Measuring Scientific Research

Stephen J Bensman notsjb at LSU.EDU
Fri Jul 14 12:45:52 EDT 2006

That's really good.  Plus ca change, plus ca la meme chose.  Pardon the
lack of diacritics. -- SB

Eugene Garfield <eugene.garfield at THOMSON.COM>@LISTSERV.UTK.EDU> on
07/14/2006 11:33:37 AM

Please respond to ASIS&T Special Interest Group on Metrics

Sent by:    ASIS&T Special Interest Group on Metrics

cc:     (bcc: Stephen J Bensman/notsjb/LSU)

Subject:    [SIGMETRICS] An early commetnary on Measuring Scientific

In an address before the Scientific Research Society of America on the
occasion of his receiving the William Procter Prize at Washington, D. C.,
December 29th, 1958,
C. Guy Suits, Vice President and Director of Research of General Electric
Company, quoted some verses by his associate Ned Landon (“whose tongue fit
neatly in his cheek”, and wrote “The Chief Executive’s Utterly Exact Method
for Measuring Scientific Research”:

I multiply your products by the words I can’t pronounce,
And weigh your published papers to the nearest half an ounce;
I add a healthy bonus for research that’s really pure
(And if it’s also useful, your job ill be secure).

I integrate your patent-rate upon a monthly basis
And I figure what your place in the race to conquer space is;
Your scientific stature I weigh upon some scales
Whose final calibration is the company’s net-to-sales.

And so I rcreate numbers where there were none before;
And thus hve facts and figures and formulae galore—
And these volumes of statistics make the whole thing very clear;
Our research should cost exactly what we’ve budgeted this year!

Eugene Garfield, PhD. email:  garfield at
home page:
Tel: 215-243-2205 Fax 215-387-1266
Chairman Emeritus, ISI
3501 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3302
President, The Scientist LLC.
400 Market Street, Suite 1250, Philadelphia, PA 19106-2501

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