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      What Is Wrong With the Current Evaluative Bibliometrics?


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          Bibliometric data are relatively simple and describe objective processes of publishing articles and citing others. It seems quite straightforward to define reasonable measures of a researcher's productivity, research quality, or overall performance based on these data. Why do we still have no acceptable bibliometric measures of scientific performance? Instead, there are hundreds of indicators with nobody knowing how to use them. At the same time, an increasing number of researchers and some research fields have been excluded from the standard bibliometric analysis to avoid manifestly contradictive conclusions. I argue that the current biggest problem is the inadequate rule of credit allocation for multiple authored articles in mainstream bibliometrics. Clinging to this historical choice excludes any systematic and logically consistent bibliometrics-based evaluation of researchers, research groups, and institutions. During the last 50 years, several authors have called for a change. Apparently, there are no serious methodologically justified or evidence-based arguments in the favor of the present system. However, there are intractable social, psychological, and economical issues that make adoption of a logically sound counting system almost impossible.

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          Most cited references34

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          An index to quantify an individual's scientific research output.

          I propose the index h, defined as the number of papers with citation number > or =h, as a useful index to characterize the scientific output of a researcher.
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            Bibliometrics: The Leiden Manifesto for research metrics.

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              The increasing dominance of teams in production of knowledge.

              We have used 19.9 million papers over 5 decades and 2.1 million patents to demonstrate that teams increasingly dominate solo authors in the production of knowledge. Research is increasingly done in teams across nearly all fields. Teams typically produce more frequently cited research than individuals do, and this advantage has been increasing over time. Teams now also produce the exceptionally high-impact research, even where that distinction was once the domain of solo authors. These results are detailed for sciences and engineering, social sciences, arts and humanities, and patents, suggesting that the process of knowledge creation has fundamentally changed.

                Author and article information

                Front Res Metr Anal
                Front Res Metr Anal
                Front. Res. Metr. Anal.
                Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                21 January 2022
                : 6
                : 824518
                Institute of Psychology, University of Tartu , Tartu, Estonia
                Author notes

                Edited by: Bertil Fabricius Dorch, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark

                Reviewed by: Asger Væring Larsen, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark; Yi Bu, Peking University, China

                *Correspondence: Endel Põder endel.poder@ 123456ut.ee

                This article was submitted to Research Assessment, a section of the journal Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics

                Copyright © 2022 Põder.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                : 29 November 2021
                : 27 December 2021
                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 36, Pages: 6, Words: 4457
                Research Metrics and Analytics

                bibliometric indicators,research evaluation,multi-authorship,fractionalized counting,individual researcher's performance,number of coauthors,research culture


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