Citations in science: Factors you don’t hear so much about
|May 9, 2011||Posted by News under Science|
In Nature, Philip Ball asks “Are scientific reputations boosted artificially?” (6 May 2011),
Does everyone in science get the recognition they deserve?
Obviously, your work hasn’t been sufficiently appreciated by your peers, but what about everyone else? Yes, I know he is vastly over-rated, and it’s a mystery why she gets invited to give so many keynote lectures, but that aside — is science a meritocracy?
How would you judge? Reputation is often a word-of-mouth affair; grants, awards and prizes offer a rather more concrete measure of success. But increasingly, scientific excellence is measured by citation statistics, not least by the ubiquitous h-index1, which is intended to quantify the impact of your literary oeuvre. Do all or any of these things truly reflect the worth of one’s scientific output?
Many would probably say: “sort of”. More.