14 April 2015 14 Comments
Few would argue that academia these days is overly dependent on the fraught and shaky pyramid of citation metrics.
There have been numerous ‘grey areas’ (e.g. self-citation and journal self-citation [which affects impact factor]) and outright scandals (e.g. citation cartels) that are related to – some might say driven by – this obsessive and uncontextualised numbers game.
Yet, it persists. And grows.
Research quality assessors and university executives appear to be ignoring the system’s teetering unsustainability in this regard, alongside the ever-more-meaningless achievement of ‘excellence’ that everyone is exhorted to pursue 24/7.
Last week, LSE Impact blog featured a post by Asit Biswas and Julian Kircherr titled Citations are not enough.
After establishing that just about no-one reads academic articles (and pointing out that only 20% of citations are works that have actually been read), they reiterate that scholarship should converse with broader society: “If academics want to have impact on policy makers and practitioners, they must consider popular media.”