Metrics and Meaning — Can We Find Relevance and Quality Without Measurements?

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Author: Kent Anderson



Nice post about the altmetric movement.  I read a book about the financial meltdown of 2008 (All the Devils are Here).  Seems overreliance on numbers can bring about global collapse. 

Quote:   "First, there is a fetishization going on with metrics, and one that’s not necessarily helpful. The belief in metrics fosters a feeling that if you can’t quantify something, it’s illegitimate or lesser in some way. However, if you can express a dimension as a whole number, or better yet, with decimals, it’s somehow more real or considered."

Second, and I think this point worthy of reflection of all who join FORCE11:

"Authors and readers in scientific publishing [my italics] possess some of the same motivations, to which we can add fear, resentment, bitterness, hubris, pride, vanity, ego, passion, curiosity, commitment, professionalism, civic duty, and many other unmeasurable attributes to what propels science forward."


In other words, those of us who are developing tools and approaches for advancing scholarly communication are in that business, just as the scientists are in that business.