UK's HEFCE Squandering Its Credibility and Assets In Research Assessment

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2009 10:02:21 -0500

      Re:
      Corbyn, ZoŽ (2009) "Conflict of interest warning over
      Evidence sale" [to Thompson Reuters].†Times Higher
      Education Supplement.†22 January 2009

There is indeed not only a potential but an actual conflict of
interest when the party that is comparing and assessing the different
candidate data and databases that can be used in UK national research
assessment is the commercial producer of one of the candidate
databases.†
HEFCE is sleep-walking in letting this happen, and in several other
decisions it is making without thinking them through properly,
including the failure to test and validate a rich variety of other
potential research-assessment metrics, over and above the few that
either Reuters-Thompson ISI or its (now disadvantaged) rival SCOPUS
can offer, especially the ones provided by the growing worldwide
network of Open Access Repositories.†

HEFCE is well on the way to foolishly locking itself into dependence
on only what is available from a single commercial provider -- under
the guise of an objective assessment by an independent honest broker.

Stevan Harnad
American Scientist Open Access Forum

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Received on Sun Feb 15 2009 - 15:03:16 GMT

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