Conflicting measures and values: How humanities scholars in australia and sweden use and react to bibliometric indicators
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© 2018 ASIS & T. While bibliometric indicators, such as the journal impact factor, have long played an important role in many STEM disciplines it has been repeatedly shown that established bibliometric methods have limited use in the humanities. Using a questionnaire on metrics use and publication practices in Australia and Sweden, we tested the assumption that indicators play a minor role among humanities scholars. Our findings show that our respondents use indicators to a considerable degree, with a range of indicators and rankings being employed. The scholars use metrics as part of institutional policy, in CVs and applications, as well as for general promotion of their work. Notable in our results is that a much larger share of researchers (62%) in Australia used metrics compared to Sweden (14%). Scholar's attitudes regarding bibliometrics are mixed; many are critical of these measures, while at the same time feeling pressured to use them. One main tension described by our respondents is between intradisciplinary criteria of quality and formalized indicators, and negotiating these "orders of worth" is a challenging balancing act, especially for younger researchers.
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