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

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2009 15:27:30 -0500

On Sun, Feb 15, 2009 at 3:01 PM, <> wrote:

      the deal for the evaluation for the REF Pilot was ALWAYS
      only to use Web of Knwledge as the database

That is bad enough news in itself. REF should be test piloting a rich
battery of multiple references, from multiple sources, not just one
minimal proprietary subset.†

Stevan Harnad


      Having worked for Thomson companies in the past I can
      confirm that Thomson leaves them very much to their own
      devices and makes no effort to get them to follow a party
      line. †In any case, all Evidence is doing is an analysis
      of the REF Pilot, not the main REF itself. †contracts for
      running the main REF have not yet been signed. †What's
      more the deal for the evaluation for the REF Pilot was
      ALWAYS only to use Web of Knwledge as the database,
      whereas all the indications for the full REF are that it
      will use both Web of Science and Scopus. So I think
      Stevan can sleep easy on this one.


      On Sun, 15 Feb 2009 10:02:21 -0500
      †Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM> wrote:
            Corbyn, ZoŽ (2009) "Conflict of interest
            warning over Evidence
            [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
            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

            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

            *Stevan Harnad
            American Scientist Open Access

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Received on Sun Feb 15 2009 - 21:06:01 GMT

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