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Citation, Impact, Rankings and Hiring.


There's a pretty interesting conversation going on at Dave Hone's blog
above, and I'd be interested to hear what DMLers think about it,
specifically in the context of Vert Paleo 'rankings' and hiring.

For my own part, I think citation indexes are like what Churchill said
about democracy, the worst, except for all those other things.
Citation rankings can be gamed, but of course the problem is that
other's in your field might realize that you're gaming it, and that
can be pretty bad for you too.

As far as hiring, I feel like a university that relies on citation
rankings to make the decision between two candidate's gets what it
deserves. Sometimes it will be fine, and other times you get people
like that (was it a german?) psychologist who faked his findings and
even manipulated the data in his student's dissertations. And when
that happens, the scientific community really does have a
responsibility to openly consider that program a 'bad' program (since
there's not really any such thing as an official penalty system in
science, like say official censuring from a sci. society, or
blacklisting from top journals).

Also, and maybe I am naive, I've gotten then impression that
citation-gaming doesn't really happen all that often in dinosaur
paleontology. Sure people publish 'flashy' findings, but that can be a
good thing and is pretty different from citation-gaming.

Robert J. Schenck
Kingsborough Community College
Physical Sciences Department
S332 ph# 718-368-5792
Follow Me on Twitter: @Schenck
KCC Class Schedule on Google Calendar: http://tinyurl.com/mqwlcy