Is bibliometrics at danger?
wouter.gerritsma at WUR.NL
Mon Oct 6 17:24:55 EDT 2014
Years ago a similar issue played around the Leiden ranking as well, with a German university coming out in the first place, based on a single, young, well cited paper.
This might be one of the reasons CWTS put more emphasis on the %top10% most cited papers in the new versions of the Leiden Ranking
From: ASIS&T Special Interest Group on Metrics [mailto:SIGMETRICS at LISTSERV.UTK.EDU] On Behalf Of Isidro F. Aguillo
Sent: maandag 6 oktober 2014 10:36
To: SIGMETRICS at LISTSERV.UTK.EDU
Subject: [SIGMETRICS] Is bibliometrics at danger?
During our last conferences (Vienna, Berlin, Leiden) we discussed the problems related to the uncontrolled usage of bibliometric techniques by people without enough knowledge of the quality standards needed for research assessment. In fact with the spread usage of "bad"
bibliometrics the discipline is starting to be viewed as irrelevant or seriously flawed and biased. It is important to read carefully the now famous DORA declaration that not only discourages the usage of the impact factor but it is also attacking the whole citation analysis as the recommended evaluation tool.
I already mentioned during the Vienna session that from a practical point of view the success of certain rankings of Universities that use flawed citation data is also a source of potential danger for the prestige of the discipline.
A few days ago the British magazine Times Higher Education (THE) published the last edition of its very popular ranking of Universities.
Besides a reputation survey-based indicator they also collect citation data (30% of the overall score) that during the last years have produced very striking results. Among others, you can check in the current edition that Federico Santa Maria Technical University, Chile has a larger score than Harvard or Princeton, Tokyo Metropolitan University larger than Caltech or Stanford, or Bogazici University, Turkey is performing better than Oxford or Cambridge.
My point here is that data does not come from a THE journalist but, surprise, directly from Thomson Reuters, as stated in their methodology
webpage: "this year, our data supplier Thomson Reuters examined more than 50 million citations to 6 million journal articles, published over five years. The data are drawn from the 12,000 academic journals indexed by Thomson Reuters' Web of Science database and include all indexed journals published between 2008 and 2012. Citations to these papers made in the six years from 2008 to 2013 are also collected".
You can find a very good analysis with tables in the blog of Richard
I know that Thomson Reuters is an independent private company, but I wonder if our community as represented in this forum could ask for a strong action regarding this unfortunate situation.
Isidro F. Aguillo, HonDr.
The Cybermetrics Lab, IPP-CSIC
isidro.aguillo at csic.es
Scholar Citations SaCSbeoAAAAJ
Rankings Web webometrics.info
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