We call for bringing sanity back into scientific judgment exercises. Despite all number crunching, many judgments - be it about scientific output, scientists, or research institutions - will neither be unambiguous, uncontroversial, or testable by external standards nor can they be otherwise validated or objectified.
Against Metrics: How Measuring Performance by Numbers Backfires
Contrary to commonsense belief, attempts to measure productivity through performance metrics discourage initiative, innovation and risk-taking. The entrepreneurial element of human nature is stifled by metric fixation.
An Empirical Study of the per Capita Yield of Science Nobel Prizes: Is the US Era Coming to an End?
For the USA, the entire history of science Noble prizes is described on a per capita basis to an astonishing accuracy by a single large productivity boost decaying at a continuously accelerating rate since its peak in 1972.
Dimensions: Re-Discovering the Ecosystem of Scientific Information
Study aims to provide a detailed description of the free version of Dimensions (the new bibliographic database produced by Digital Science). An analysis of its coverage is carried out (comparing it Scopus and Google Scholar) in order to determine whether the bibliometric indicators offered by Dimensions have an order of magnitude significant enough to be used.
The Citation Graph Is One of Humankind's Most Important Intellectual Achievements
When researchers write, we don't just describe new findings - we place them in context by citing the work of others. Citations trace the lineage of ideas, connecting disparate lines of scholarship into a cohesive body of knowledge, and forming the basis of how we know what we know.
What Are the Ten Most Cited Sources on Wikipedia? Let's Ask the Data.
Understanding the provenance of information used by Wikipedians, also allows us to lift a veil on its gaps - the types of sources, languages, and perspectives - that are not represented, which in turn can inform community efforts to improve coverage in underserved content areas.
Assessing Scientists for Hiring, Promotion, and Tenure
A growing number of scientific leaders believe the current system of faculty incentives and rewards is misaligned with the needs of society. Here we propose six principles for assessing scientists and associated research and policy implications.
With some 173,000 articles during the period 2011-2015, Switzerland produced 1% of worldwide publications. It is therefore in the top 20 countries of all sizes that publish the most scientific articles.
How many scientific papers drop into the void, never to be cited by anyone, ever again? There are all sorts of estimates floating around, many of them rather worryingly high, but this look at the situation by Nature suggests that things aren't so bad.