User:Daniel Mietchen/Notebook/Open Science/2010/03/31

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Bibliometrics as Weapons of Mass Citation / La bibliométrie comme arme de citation massive

The allocation of resources for research is increasingly based on so-called 'bibliometrics'. Scientists are now deemed to be successful on the sole condition that their work be abundantly cited. This world-wide trend appears to enjoy support not only by granting agencies (whose task is obviously simplified by extensive recourse to bibliometrics), but also by the scientists themselves (who seem to enjoy their status of celebrities). This trend appears to be fraught with dangers, particularly in the area of social sciences, where bibliometrics are less developed, and where monographs (which are not taken into account in citation indexes) are often more important than articles published in journals. We argue in favour of a return to the values of 'real science', in analogy to the much-promised return to a 'real economy'. While economists may strive towards a more objective evaluation of the prospects of a company, a market, or an industrial sector, we scientists can only base our appraisal on a responsible practice of peer review. Since we fear that decision-takers of granting agencies such as the FNRS, CTI, EPFL, ETHZ, ANR, CNRS, NIH, NSF, DOE,[1] etc. will be too busy to read our humble paper in Chimia, we appeal to scientists of all countries and disciplines to unite against the tyranny of bibliometrics.

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