Month: July 2014

cloned sheep

Should Self-Citation Count?

There has been much discussion over how useful citation metrics, like Google Scholar’s H-index, really are and to what extent they can be gamed. Specifically there appears to be concern over the practice of self-citation as it varies widely between disciplines. So what should academics make of self-citations? Referring back to our Handbook on Maximising the Impact of Your Research, the Public Policy Group assess the key issues and advise that self-citations by researchers and teams are a perfectly legitimate and relevant aspect of disciplinary practice. But individuals should take care to ensure their own self-citation rate is not above the average for their particular discipline.

5 years ago
MIT Center logo

A Social Science Audit for Facebook’s News Feed?

How can the public learn the role of algorithms in their daily lives, evaluating the law and ethicality of systems like the Facebook News Feed, search engines, or airline booking systems? Earlier this month Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society hosted a conversation about the idea of social science audits of algorithms, and J. Nathan Matias reports on the discourse.

5 years ago
Cricket scoreboard numbers

Beating the Flawed Metric That Rules Science

The perceived importance of a scientific paper should reflect the deepest wisdom of the scientific community, argues Nikolaus Kriegeskorte, rather than the judgments of three anonymous peer reviewers. So where does that leave ‘impact factor’?

5 years ago
Corruption woodcut

Economists Behaving Badly Linked to Pressure to Publish

Sarah Necker describes her landmark study on economists’ research norms and practices and finds that while we all agree that fabrication, falsification and plagiarism are bad, a few academics admit they have accepted or offered gifts, money, or sex in exchange for co-authorship, data or promotion.

5 years ago
university rankings graphic

Beware the Lessons of Competitive US Higher Ed

Other nations looking at successful American universities and seeing the invisible hand of the marketplace at work should take a closer look at the arm attached to that hand, argues Steve C. Ward.

5 years ago
David Willetts

Will David Willetts Be Remembered For His OA Advocacy?

Now that Greg Clark, has begun his tenure as the new UK minister for universities, science, and cities, the London School of Economics Impact of Social Science blog asked for further reflections on the positions taken by previous minister, David Willetts. David Prosser of the Research Libraries UK covers the dramatic influence Willetts had on open access legislation and momentum in the UK.

5 years ago