Use and misuse of metrics in research evaluation

Science and Engineering Ethics 3 (2):109-120 (1997)
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This paper addresses some critical issues in the applicability of quantitative performance measures (including bibliometric, economic, and co-occurrence measures) to the assessment of basic research. The strengths and weaknesses of metrics applied as research performance measures are examined. It is concluded that metrics have a useful role to play in the evaluation of research. Each metric employed, whether bibliometric, economic, co-occurrence, or others, brings a new dimension of potential insight to the complex problem of research assessment. However, when used in a stand-alone mode, metrics can be easily misinterpreted and result in misleading conclusions. Metrics should be an integral part of a more comprehensive approach to research evaluation, in which the leading role is assumed by expert peer review. Under this structure, the reviewers must be broadly constituted, so that the technical correctness of the research approaches being taken (doing the job right) can be evaluated by technical experts and the correctness of the research target (doing the right job) can be evaluated as well. This comprehensive approach insures quality in the implementation of existing research paradigms and allows the introduction of revolutionary new research paradigms as well.



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Citations of this work

Using a dialectical scientific brief in Peer review.Arthur Stamps - 1997 - Science and Engineering Ethics 3 (1):85-98.

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References found in this work

Problems of citation analysis.Michael H. McRoberts & B. R. McRoberts - 1989 - A Critical Review. Journal of the American Society for Information Science 40 (5):342-349.

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