Future UK RAEs to be Metrics-Based

Stevan Harnad harnad at ECS.SOTON.AC.UK
Thu Mar 23 10:16:44 EST 2006

On Thu, 23 Mar 2006, Adrian Smith wrote:

> See also
> http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v440/n7083/pdf/440408d.pdf
> Mark Maslin [UCL] in "Nature"
> Research skewed by stress on highest-impact journals

This will "unskew" it, by instead placing the weight on the individual
author/article citation counts (and download counts, CiteRanks, authority
counts, citation/download latency, citation/longevity, co-citation signature,
and many, many new OA metrics waiting to be devised and validated, including
full-text semantic-analysis and semantic-web-tag analyses too) rather
than just, or primarily, the blunter instrument (the journal impact factor).

This is not just about one number any more! The journal tag will still have some
weight, but just one weight among many, in an OA scientometric multiple
regression equation, customised for each discipline.

This is an occasion for rejoicing at progress, pluralism and openness, not
digging up obsolescent concerns about over-reliance on the journal impact

Stevan Harnad

> :"-----Original Message-----
> :"From: jisc development discussion forum
> :"[mailto:JISC-DEVELOPMENT at JISCMAIL.AC.UK] On Behalf Of Stevan Harnad
> :"Sent: 23 March 2006 14:48
> :"Subject: Future UK RAEs to be Metrics-Based
> :"
> :"
> :"Don't say we didn't tell you so! The wasteful, time-consuming
> :"RAE will be replaced by metrics, chief among them citation
> :"impact, which already correlated with and predicted the RAE
> :"outcome anyway, without being explicitly counted. Now it can
> :"be explicitly counted (along with other powerful new metrics)
> :"and all the rest of the ritualistic time-wasting can be
> :"abandoned, without ceremony. This is a great boost for
> :"institutional self-archiving in OA Institutional
> :"Repositories, not only as the obvious, optimal means of
> :"submission, but as the means of maximising research impact:
> :"http://irra.eprints.org/software/bronze/
> :"(I hope RCUK is listening!):
> :"
> :"    "Research exercise to be scrapped"
> :"     Donald MacLeod, Guardian Wednesday March 22, 2006
> :"     http://education.guardian.co.uk/RAE/story/0,,1737082,00.html
> :"
> :"Cf: Harnad, S. (2001) Why I think that research access,
> :"impact and assessment
> :"    are linked. Times Higher Education Supplement 1487: p. 16.
> :"    http://www.thes.co.uk/search/story.aspx?story_id=74889
> :"    http://cogprints.org/1683/
> :"
> :"    Harnad, S. (2003) Why I believe that all UK research output
> :"    should be online.
> :"    Times Higher Education Supplement. Friday, June 6 2003.
> :"    http://www.thes.co.uk/search/story.aspx?story_id=92599
> :"    http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/7728/
> :"
> :"    Harnad, S., Carr, L., Brody, T. & Oppenheim, C. (2003) Mandated
> :"    online RAE CVs Linked to University Eprint Archives: Improving
> :"    the UK Research Assessment Exercise whilst making it cheaper and
> :"    easier. Ariadne.
> :"    http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue35/harnad/
> :"

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