The impacts agenda is an autonomous push for opening up and democratizing academia, not part of a neo-liberal hegemony

Posted in Research on November 20th, 2020 by steve

“Improving academic impact has been given a bad name in some academic circles, who link it to a near-conspiracy theory view of the powers of ‘neo-liberalism’. But Patrick Dunleavy and Jane Tinkler argue that (despite one or two bureaucratic distortions, like the REF), the impacts agenda is centrally about enhancing the efficacy of scientific and academic work, democratizing access to knowledge and culture, and fostering rational thinking …” (more)

[Impact of Social Sciences, 20 November]

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A requiem for impact?

Posted in Research on January 27th, 2020 by steve

“With the government launching a major review of research bureaucracy and methods, James Wilsdon asks: is the end of the road for impact measures in grant applications? …” (more)

[Wonkhe, 27 January]

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Few UK universities have adopted rules against impact-factor abuse

Posted in Research on February 18th, 2018 by steve

“A survey of British institutions reveals that few have taken concrete steps to stop the much-criticized misuse of research metrics in the evaluation of academics’ work. The results offer an early insight into global efforts to clamp down on such practices …” (more)

[Nisha Gaind, Nature, 12 February]

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Measuring the lack of impact of journal papers

Posted in Research on February 4th, 2016 by steve

UK“I’ve been involved in a depressing discussion on the Astronomers Facebook page, part of which was about the widespread use of Journal Impact factors by appointments panels, grant agencies, promotion committees, and so on …” (more)

[In the Dark, 4 February]

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Journal impact factors ‘no longer credible’

Posted in Research on November 5th, 2015 by steve

UK“Trickery by editors to boost their journal impact factor means that the widely used metric ‘has now lost most of its credibility’, according to Research Policy journal. With many editors now engaged in ‘ingenious ways’ of boosting their impact factor, ‘one of the main bastions holding back the growing scourge of research misconduct’ has been ‘breached’, the publication warns in an editorial …” (more)

[David Matthews, Times Higher Education, 5 November]

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Why are UK universities still relying on journal impact factors?

Posted in Research on April 30th, 2015 by steve

UK“If you work in the sciences, you will be all too aware of the journal impact factor (JIF). The requirement for ‘publications in high impact journals’ has become a staple of job advertisements, and the achievement of this goal is emblazoned across research group websites as evidence of gloriousness …” (more)

[CDBU, 30 April]

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Quality control in research: the mysterious case of the bouncing impact factor

Posted in Research on December 3rd, 2014 by steve

Norway“Research must be reliable and publication is part of our quality control system. Scientific articles get reviewed by peers and they get screened by editors. Reviewers ideally help improve the project and its presentation, and editors ideally select the best papers to publish …” (more)

[Curt Rice, 3 December]

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Altmetrics – Replacing the Impact Factor Is Not the Only Point

Posted in Research on January 23rd, 2014 by steve

“There are other important value metrics beyond the strength of a journal. This might come as a shock to some STEM publishers, who have flourished or floundered based on the performance of impact factor rankings published each June …” (more)

[Todd Carpenter, The Scholarly Kitchen, 23 January]

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Open Access and the self-forming journal hierarchy

Posted in Research on January 18th, 2014 by steve

“I recently posted a piece on Occam’ Corner explaining why I think instituting radical changes in science publishing should not be a major focus of scientists at this juncture …” (more)

[Steve Caplan, No Comment, 17 January]

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Impact factors are clouding our judgement

Posted in Research on October 17th, 2013 by steve

Nature has an interesting news feature this week on impact factors. Eugenie Samuel Reich’s article — part of a special supplement covering various aspects of the rather ill-defined notion of impact — explores whether publication in journals such as Nature or Science is a game-changer for scientific careers …” (more)

[Stephen Curry, Reciprocal Space, 17 October]

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Is impact factor the ‘least-bad’ way to judge the quality of a scientific paper?

Posted in Research on October 14th, 2013 by steve

“We’ve sometimes said, paraphrasing Winston Churchill, that pre-publication peer review is the worst way to vet science, except for all the other ways that have been tried from time to time …” (more)

[Ivan Oransky, Retraction Watch, 14 October]

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Sub-Prime Academia: when the bibliometric myths collapse …

Posted in Research on October 5th, 2013 by steve

“Bibliometrics now dominates the academic landscape. Government research resource allocation, measures of academic status and professional development all now depend on a bunch of statistical measures that supposedly track merit …” (more)

[Mark Johnson, Improvisation Blog, 4 October]

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End Robo-Research Assessment

Posted in Research on May 22nd, 2013 by steve

“Some clever and thoughtful people at the American Society for Cell Biology have done us all a favor by putting in writing something that is so good and so true that I’m delighted by it. The Journal Impact Factor has gone from being a rough measure of relative journal significance to being the measure of researchers, something it was never designed for …” (more)

[Barbara Fister, Inside Higher Ed, 21 May]

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Declaration on Research Assessment

Posted in Research on May 18th, 2013 by steve

“Just thought I would highlight the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment. It’s been a long day and I’m quite tired, so I don’t want to say too much …” (more)

[To the left of centre, 18 May]

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Declaration of independence from journal impact factor

Posted in Research on May 17th, 2013 by steve

“The Wellcome Trust and the Higher Education Funding Council for England are among the bodies calling for the use of the journal impact factor in funding, appointment and promotion decisions to be scrapped …” (more)

[Elizabeth Gibney, Times Higher Education, 16 May]

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Impact factors declared unfit for duty

Posted in Research on May 16th, 2013 by steve

“Regulars at this blog will be familiar with the dim view that I have of impact factors, in particular their mis-appropriation for the evaluation of individual researchers and their work. I have argued for their elimination …” (more)

[Stephen Curry, Reciprocal Space, 16 May]

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Elite journals are losing their position of privilege

Posted in Research on May 16th, 2013 by steve

“Having first documented the large-scale demise of the impact factor as a predictor of quality research, George Lozano and team examined whether this pattern also applies to the handful of elite journals …” (more)

[Impact of Social Sciences, 16 May]

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High-impact journals: where newsworthiness trumps methodology

Posted in Research on March 15th, 2013 by steve

“Criticism continues to mount against high impact factor journals with a new study suggesting a preference for publishing front-page, ‘sexy’ science has been at the expense of methodological rigour …” (more)

[Dorothy Bishop, Impact of Social Sciences, 15 March]

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Impact factors – RCUK provides a chance to act

Posted in Research on March 14th, 2013 by steve

“I had no idea when I clicked ‘publish’ last August that my ‘Sick of Impact Factors’ post would unleash such a huge response. Evidently I had pulled on a chain that everyone feels bound by …” (more)

[Stephen Curry, Reciprocal Space, 14 March]

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Impact factors, research assessment and an alternative to REF 2014

Posted in Research on February 8th, 2013 by steve

“There is growing concern that the contentious journal impact factor is being used by universities as a proxy measure for research assessment. In light of this and the wider REF2014 exercise, Dorothy Bishop believes we need a more transparent, fair and cost-effective method for distributing funding to universities than the REF approach allows …” (more)

[Impact of Social Sciences, 8 February]

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