[Sigmetrics] Metrics in academic profiles: a new addictive game for researchers?

Emilio Delgado López-Cózar edelgado at ugr.es
Tue Sep 27 07:07:58 EDT 2016


The academic social networks, where authors can display their
publications, have become new scientific communication channels,
accelerating the dissemination of research results, facilitating data
sharing, and strongly promoting scientific collaboration, all at no cost
to the user. One of the features that make them extremely attractive to
researchers is the possibility to browse through a wide variety of
bibliometric indicators. Going beyond publication and citation counts,
they also measure usage, participation in the platform, social
connectivity, and scientific, academic and professional impact. Using
these indicators they effectively create a digital image of researchers
and their reputations. However, although academic social platforms are
useful applications that can help improve scientific communication, they
also hide a less positive side: they are highly addictive tools that
might be abused. By gamifying scientific impact using techniques
originally developed for videogames, these platforms may get users
hooked on them, like addicted academics, transforming what should only
be a means into an end in itself. 

This paper aims to promote
reflection and bring attention to the potential adverse effects of
academic social networks on science. 

Paper available at

Emilio Delgado López-Cózar
Facultad de Comunicación y
Universidad de

ad veritatem pervenimus (Cicerón, De officiis. A. 451...)
Contra data
non argumenta
A fructibus eorum cognoscitis eos (San Mateo 7, 16)
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