Bibliométrie : un numéro spécial de Nature (16 juin 2010)
le 22 juin 2010
La revue Nature a publié le 16 juin un numéro spécial en accès libre sur la bibliométrie.
Extraits : "Many researchers say that, in principle, they welcome the use of quantitative performance metrics because of the potential for clarity and objectivity. Yet they also worry that the hiring, promotion and tenure committees that control their fate will ignore crucial but hard-to-quantify aspects of scientific performance such as mentorship and collaboration building, and instead focus exclusively on a handful of easy-to-measure numbers related mostly to their publication and citation rates. (...)
Academic administrators, conversely, need to understand what the various metrics can and cannot tell them. Many measures — including the classic ’impact factor’ that attempts to describe a journal’s influence — were not designed to assess individual scientists. Yet people still sometimes try to apply them in that way."
Extrait : "For all their popularity, however, citation-based metrics share some fundamental weaknesses when it comes to evaluating individual researchers. One is that research papers commonly have multiple authors — "possibly hundreds of them", says Henk Moed, a senior science adviser at Elsevier in Amsterdam. A number of corrections can be applied to give the various authors fractional credit. But in some research fields, such as high-energy physics, there can be so many co-authors that assigning credit to individuals makes little sense, Moed says : "Here one seems to reach the limits of the bibliometric system."
Another weakness is that the scores depend on the database being used. Thomson Reuters’s science, social science and arts and humanities databases — accessible through its Web of Knowledge interface — include data from about 11,500 journals. Elsevier’s Scopus, introduced in 2004, includes abstracts and references from 16,500 peer-reviewed journals. And the free automatically indexed database Google Scholar, also introduced in 2004, includes details of patents as well as scientific papers, and covers many more journals in engineering, social sciences and the humanities than either of the others. A search in May showed that papers in international management by Harzing had been cited 815 times according to Thomson Reuters, 952 times according to Scopus and 2,226 times according to Google Scholar. "
Un peu différent des autres, l’article indique que l’impact de la recherche sur l’économie est beaucoup moins assuré qu’on ne le dit d’ordinaire et qu’un revirement des politiques publiques en la matière est peut-être en cours.
Les articles sont aussi accessibles en pdf sur le site de la revue.