Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The fallacy of linking citations to quality

A post at IAM begins:

The United States remains the world’s dominant force in science, according to research published yesterday by the UK’s Royal Society. Knowledge, Networks and Nations reports that the US spends more on R&D than any other country and publishes more scientific papers while, crucially, there are more citations of US scientific works than those from any other country. It all means that the US wins not only on quantity but, much more importantly, on quality as well.

Criticisms of linking the proxy "citations to an article" with "quality of the article" have appeared before. Further, the source of the citation data (ISI) tends to favor US journals over third world journals.

And, yes, as to patents, citations have been used to measure "quality."

It's sad.

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