Research Seminars in LIS

Time: 2016-05-09, 14:30 — 16:00
Location: D519
Event Type: Seminar

Judging merits in the age of the h-index:  The use of metrics in medicine and economics

Björn Hammarfelt

Judging merits in the age of the h-index: The use of metrics in medicine and economics

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 measures the volume of research but also its impact. In this study, we investigate how metrics are used for evaluating the impact and quality of publications in two specific settings: medicine and economics. Our study exposes the extent and type of metrics used in the 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. Ultimately, our findings contribute to a further understanding of how a emerging ‘metric culture’ influences evaluation repertoires in specific fields.

This study is a part of the project Measuring science and it is conducted together with Alex Rushforth (PhD) from the EPIC working group at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University.



Björn Hammarfelt, PhD, is senior lecturer at The Swedish School of Library and Information Science (SSLIS) and visiting scholar at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS), Leiden University, Netherlands. This is an article seminar.