Friday, May 29, 2009

The decline in scientific responsibility - Impact Factor

I have mentioned in another blog the decline in responsibility taken by scientists today, which is encouraged by the introduction of numerical valuation of scientific research.

One hopes, perhaps naively, that such valuation methods as impact factor, are not being used as a weapon in the struggle for funds and prestige by one scientific subject against another. It is perhaps by chance that fields which insist on the importance of "objective" comparisons (like the impact factor) are also those in which the average impact factor of journals is particularly high.

Here is a very interesting article (in Italian) by Alessandro Figà-Talamanca about the use of impact factor in judging scientific production.

I  would like to illustrate the problem with some examples.



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