Open Access Metrics: Use REF2014 to Validate Metrics for REF2020

Mark C. Wilson mc.wilson at AUCKLAND.AC.NZ
Thu Dec 18 15:45:19 EST 2014


Unless I misunderstood that, you are proposing comparing "academic units” by where their publications lie on the JIF distribution. Surely it would be better to see where the actual papers lie on the individual paper citation distribution for each field. Hasn’t JIF been sufficiently discredited for measuring individual papers and researchers, e.g. by Brembs/Munafo: ? 

Even aggregating authors into departments would produce much less reliable results than looking at the citations of the papers themselves, I guess. Is there perhaps a data collection problem, that led you to propose what I think you did?

Dr Mark C. Wilson
Department of Computer Science, University of Auckland	 |
Director, Centre for Mathematical Social Sciences: 	|	Managing Editor, OJAC:
Please don't send me Microsoft Office attachments	|		I'm boycotting Elsevier - see

> On 19/12/2014, at 9:21, Stephen J Bensman <notsjb at LSU.EDU> wrote:
>> Just for the hell of it, I would like to propose a method for judging whether one university is doing better than another in a given discipline.  It is based on the power-law model or Lotkaian informetrics and the impact factor.  As you know, Garfield favored the impact factor because it corrected for physical and temporal size and brought to the top the review journals, whose importance lay at the basis of his theory of scientific progress and citation indexing.  However, there is a significant correlation between current citation rate (the impact factor) and total citations, which are heavily influenced by temporal and physical size.  That means that the older, bigger, more prestigious journals—Matthew Effect--tend to have a higher IF.  If you take a JCR subject category—bad as these things are—and graph the distribution of the journals in that category by impact factor, they will form a negative exponential power-law curve.  Then take the publications of the two universities you want to compare.  The university, whose publications concentrate further to the right on the asymptote—particularly at the tip, where the review journals are—is having a greater impact on the discipline than the other one is.  You could even divide the asymptote into deciles for metric purposes.  Simple, visible, and easily understood.  Citations correlate very well with peer ratings—the higher the citations from documents with more citations themselves, the greater the correlations, as was proven by Narin and Page even at the semantic level. 
>> Respectfully,
>> Stephen J Bensman, Ph.D.
>> LSU Libraries
>> Lousiana State University
>> Baton Rouge, LA 70803

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