What counts in research? Dysfunction in knowledge creation & moving beyond | Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir les savoirs communs
One of the long-term challenges to transitioning scholarly communication to open access is reliance on bibliometrics. Many authors and organizations are working to address this challenge. The purpose of this post is to share some highlights of my work in progress, a book chapter (preprint) designed to explain the current state of bibliometrics in the context of a critique of global university rankings. Some reflections in brief that are new and relevant to advocates of open access and changes in evaluation of scholarly work follow.
Impact:it is not logical to equate impact with quality, and further, it is dangerous to do so.
New metrics (or altmetrics) serve many purposes and should be developed and used, but should be avoided in the context of evaluating the quality of scholarship.
New metrics are likely to change scholarship, but not necessarily in the ways anticipated by the open access movement.
It is possible to evaluate scholarly research without recourse to metrics. The University of Ottawa’s collective agreement with full-time faculty reflects a model that not only avoids the problems of metrics, but is an excellent model for change in scholarly communication as it is recognized that scholarly works may take many forms.