Report Challenges Reliance on Citations

A report by the International Mathematics Union, profiled in the Times Higher this week, argues that an over-reliance on the use of citation figures is damaging as such statistics can be as subjective as other forms of assessment, such as peer-review. Citation metrics will be used to rate researchers in the forthcoming Research Excellence Framework (REF), the replacement to the RAE.

The report ‘Citation Statistics’, looks at journal impact factors and citation counts. The authors stress that metrics should only be used as part of a wider package which includes peer review and “esteem indicators”, such as conference invitations and membership of editorial boards. Following concerned feedback from the scientific community to a HEFCE consulation published earlier this year, the REF is to include peer-review alongside the use of citation indicators.

Access original article (Blind faith in metrics is ‘unfounded’: 26 June 2008)