Indicators as judgment devices: The use of bibliometrics for evaluating candidates for professorships in biomedicine and economics
2016 (English)In: Proceedings of 21st Nordic Workshop on Bibliometrics and Research Policy (NWB’2016) / [ed] Lorna Wildgaard, Toine Bogers and Birger Larsen, Aalborg University , 2016, 7-7 p.Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
The number of publications has been a fundamental merit in the competition for academic positions since the late 18th century. Today, the simple counting of publications has been supplemented with a whole range of bibliometric measures, which supposedly not only measure the volume of research but also its impact. In this study, we investigate how bibliometrics are used for evaluating the impact and quality of publications in two specific settings: biomedicine and economics. Our study exposes the extent and type of metrics used in external evaluations of candidates for academic positions at Swedish universities. Moreover, we show how different bibliometric indicators, both explicitly and implicitly, are employed to value and rank candidates. Our findings contribute to a further understanding of bibliometric indicators as “judgment devices” employed to evaluate individuals and their published works within specific fields. We also show how “expertise” in using bibliometrics for evaluative purposes is negotiated at the interface between domain knowledge and skills in using indicators. In fact, examiners in these documents emerge as experts in three roles: 1) as domain experts 2) experts on metrics and 3) experts on how metrics are used and valued within their field. In short expertise here means evaluating not only publications but also judgment devices. In line with these results we propose that the use of metrics in this context is best described as a form of “citizen biblometrics” – an underspecified term which we build upon in this paper.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Aalborg University , 2016. 7-7 p.
Research subject Library and Information Science
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-11767OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-11767DiVA: diva2:1063971
21st Nordic Workshop on Bibliometrics and Research Policy, Copenhagen, November 3-4, 2016