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ICSTI: Citation counting and research assessment

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <epc-l@iucr.org>
  • Subject: ICSTI: Citation counting and research assessment
  • From: Pete Strickland <ps@iucr.org>
  • Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2002 11:31:10 GMT

----------  Forwarded Message  ----------

Subject: Citation counting and research assessment
Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2002 10:33:12 -0000
From: Barry Mahon <mahons1@EIRCOM.NET>

Interesting this, further input to an ongoing debate....Anybody know of
 similar studies in other disciplines?

Andy Smith and Mike Eysenck, "The correlation between RAE ratings and
citation counts in psychology" (June 2002)

The authors' summary:

We counted the citations received in one year (1998) by each staff member in
each of 38 university psychology departments in the United Kingdom. We then
averaged these counts across individuals within each department and
 correlated the averages with the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) grades
 awarded to the same departments in 1996 and 2001.

The correlations were extremely high (up to +0.91). This suggests that
 whatever the merits and demerits of the RAE process and citation counting as
 methods of evaluating research quality, the two approaches measure broadly
 the same thing. Since citation counting is both more costeffective and more
 transparent than the present system and gives similar results, there is a
 prima facie case for incorporating citation counts into the process, either
 alone or in conjunction with other measures. Some of the limitations of
 citation counting are discussed and some methods for minimising these are
 proposed. Many of the factors that dictate caution in judging individuals by
 their citations tend to average out when whole departments are compared.



Best wishes

Peter Strickland
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