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Home » Impact Factor » The Metric Tide – Report of the Independent Review of the Role of Metrics in Research Assessment and Management

The Metric Tide – Report of the Independent Review of the Role of Metrics in Research Assessment and Management

Metrics evoke a mixed reaction from the research community. A commitment to using data and evidence to inform decisions makes many of us sympathetic, even enthusiastic, about the prospect of granular, real-time analysis of our own activities. If we as a sector can’t take full advantage of the possibilities of big data, then who can?
Yet we only have to look around us, at the blunt use of metrics such as journal impact factors, h-indices and grant income targets to be reminded of the pitfalls. Some of the most precious qualities of academic culture resist simple quantification, and individual indicators can struggle to do justice to the richness and plurality of our research. Too often, poorly designed evaluation criteria are “dominating minds, distorting behaviour and determining careers.”

At their worst, metrics can contribute to what Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, calls a “new barbarity” in our universities.  Read more…

 

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