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Conflicting Measures and Values: How Humanities Scholars in Australia and Sweden Use and React to Bibliometric Indicators
University of Borås, Faculty of Librarianship, Information, Education and IT.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1504-8395
Curtin University.
2018 (English)In: Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, ISSN 2330-1635, E-ISSN 2330-1643, Vol. 69, no 7, p. 924-935Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

While bibliometric indicators, such as the journal impact factor, have long played an important role in many STEM disciplines it has been repeatedly shown that established bibliometric methods have limited use in the humanities. Using a questionnaire on metrics use and publication practices in Australia and Sweden, we tested the assumption that indicators play a minor role among humanities scholars. Our findings show that our respondents use indicators to a considerable degree, with a range of indicators and rankings being employed. The scholars use metrics as part of institutional policy, in CVs and applications, as well as for general promotion of their work. Notable in our results is that a much larger share of researchers (62%) in Australia used metrics compared to Sweden (14%). Scholar’s attitudes regarding bibliometrics are mixed; many are critical of these measures, while at the same time feeling pressured to use them. One main tension described by our respondents is between intradisciplinary criteria of quality and formalized indicators, and negotiating these “orders of worth” is a challenging balancing act, especially for younger researchers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 69, no 7, p. 924-935
Keywords [en]
Humanities, bibliometrics, evaluation, indicators
National Category
Information Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-14324DOI: DOI: 10.1002/asi.24043OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-14324DiVA, id: diva2:1217176
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2013-7368Available from: 2018-06-12 Created: 2018-06-12 Last updated: 2018-07-04Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttps://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/asi.24043

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Hammarfelt, Björn

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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