Accepted Paper:

The role and effects of metrics in the scholarly system  


Thed van Leeuwen (Leiden University)

Paper short abstract:

In the era of NPM, metrics have entered the science policy landscape. We will show the effects these metrics have, and the pressure this creates on academics to publish in internationally oriented journals, against a background of fundamental changes in the scientific communication system.

Paper long abstract:

With the advent of New Public Management techniques in science policy since the 1990's, the usage of bibliometric indicators supporting decision making in science policy processes at various levels in the scholarly system has increased substantially. Next to all kind of advanced bibliometric methodologies, simple indicators such as the Journal Impact Factor and the h-index have been among the most used bibliometric indicators in processes of hiring and promoting of scholars, journal selection procedures by both scholars and librarians, as well granting and research funding decision making procedures. One of those applications is the usage of bibliometric indicators for performance based research funding mechanisms. In this contribution we will talk about some of those applications, the rationale behind these applications, the effects these applications might have on the scholarly system, and the consequences in a somewhat wider context. This perspective will be confronted with the more recent development towards Open Science/Open Access, and the pressure this builds upon in particular younger scholars in making an academic career, and more specifically for those in the social sciences and humanities. Finally, some of the myths surrounding these bibliometric indicators will be discussed. The contribution will contain empirical data from studies in which metrics were designed to support decision making in funding allocation models.

Panel T035
ICT and STS knowledge diffusion: actor's (publishers, authors, editors) strategies, critics and trends