Posted by: Eliz | July 14, 2008

Report warns against over-reliance on citation statistics

A new report urges caution against the over-reliance on citation statistics such as impact factors. The report, entitled Citation Statistics (PDF document), on the use of citations in assessing research quality, was commissioned by the International Mathematical Union (IMU).

The report highlights several common misuses of citation statistics in evaluating research. It cautions that citations provide only a limited and incomplete view of research quality. Research is too important, they say, to measure its value with only a single, coarse tool. Using a single number to judge quality can lead to a shallow understanding of something as complicated as research.

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