Re: Evaluation of publications

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2007 17:01:41 +0000 (GMT)

On Wed, 31 Jan 2007, Bruno Granier wrote:

> Our research is evaluated by our funding agencies on the sole basis of such
> publications (in peer-reviewed high-ranked international journals). These
> agencies do not care that we make our publications available through
> self-archiving (in theory thy care; in practice they don't). They do not
> care we publish or what we publish ... they care of those journals we
> publish in and how frequently. They behave as accountant (eventually they
> will use weighting averages: number of papers as first author, second
> author, ... in a high-ranked, medium-ranked, ... journal).

Our funders (and employers) care whether and where and how much we publish
("publish or perish"), but they also care about how much our findings are
used, how much of a research impact they make.

So they count not only our publications, but our citations -- and no longer
just indirectly, by counting the average citation-counts ("journal impact
factor") of the journal they are published in, but by counting the
article's citations directly too.

And OA self-archiving increases those citation counts by 25-250%+

As a consequence, in order to maximise research impact, our funders (and
employers) are now planning to mandate OA self-archiving, extending their
existing "publish-or-perish" and citation-counting policies and practices
to "publish and self-archive." A very natural, indeed optimal

In other words, our funders *do* care "that we make our publications
available through self-archiving

> Is there a use to self-archive papers that were published in open-access
> journals?

Yes: (1) for university/funder record-keeping purposes, (2) as a uniform
practice for all published articles. (Do not forget that OA journals are
only a small minority among journals today. Moreover, if OA publishing
prevails one day, all access-provision and archiving will be offloaded onto
the distributed network of Institutional OA Repositories. There will be no
need for the journal to have an archive website of its own.)

> There was (is still) another model of publishing: laboratories and
> departments used to publish their own journals and obtained journals
> published by other institutions through "library exchanges". The accounter
> technique of evaluations of our granting agencies killed these publications
> and therefore this model!

Probably a good thing, since self-publication is not peer review but vanity

Stevan Harnad
Received on Thu Feb 01 2007 - 17:02:38 GMT

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