New CACM article on "publications ranking"

Stephen J Bensman notsjb at LSU.EDU
Sat May 26 14:27:34 EDT 2007

I read the abstract, and, personally, I thought that he stole it word-for-word from the introduction to Hughes' 1924 assessment of US research-doctorate programs.  Plus ca change, plus ca la meme chose.


From: ASIS&T Special Interest Group on Metrics on behalf of B.G. Sloan
Sent: Sat 5/26/2007 8:40 AM
Subject: Re: [SIGMETRICS] New CACM article on "publications ranking"

I believe the paper that Cristina mentions goes beyond ranking institutions and also deals with identifying "the best...individuals in a given discipline".

Here's the abstract:
"Assessing both academic and industrial research institutions, along with their scholars, can help identify the best organizations and individuals in a given discipline. Assessment can reveal outstanding institutions and scholars, allowing students and researchers to better decide where they want to study or work and allowing employers to recruit the most qualified potential employees. These assessments can also assist both internal and external administrators in making influential decisions; for example, funding, promotion, and compensation."
Bernie Sloan

Stephen J Bensman <notsjb at LSU.EDU> wrote:

	Adminstrative info for SIGMETRICS (for example unsubscribe): 
	Everybody has a better mouse trap.  In respect to US academic rankings, the only ones that count are the ones done by the US National Research Council, the American Council on Education, etc., and these are done every 10-15 years or so.  There is one being conducted now.  Not to worry though.  At top the rankings have remained the same for about a century, and despite all the new sophisticated techniques with publications, citations, etc. they arrive at basically the same the results that were obtained by Cattell in 1910 and Hughes in 1924 with crude opinion surveys.  There are new fields and all that, but the universities dominant in the new fields are the ones that were dominant in the old fields.  Your institution is one of these, and it is an outlier, because most dominant universities have programs with large numbers of faculty, but Hopkins makes it to the top on a small faculty base.  You should study the historical reasons for this.  It is a very interesting case.


	From: ASIS&T Special Interest Group on Metrics on behalf of Pikas, Christina K.
	Sent: Fri 5/25/2007 1:07 PM
	Subject: [SIGMETRICS] New CACM article on "publications ranking"
	Adminstrative info for SIGMETRICS (for example unsubscribe): 
	Sigh.  It just seems so superficial and so not useful... basically based on production.  The lead author is from Google -- makes you wonder if this is a new product?
	Ren, J. and Taylor, R. N. 2007. Automatic and versatile publications ranking for research institutions and scholars. Commun. ACM 50, 6 (Jun. 2007), 81-85. DOI=
	Christina K. Pikas, MLS
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