Quality, impact and quantification: Indicators and metrics use by social scientists
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This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Haddow, G. and Hammarfelt, B. 2018. Quality, impact and quantification: Indicators and metrics use by social scientists. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. 70 (1): pp. 16-26, which has been published in final form at 10.1002/asi.24097. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving at http://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-828039.html
The use of indicators and metrics for research evaluation purposes is well-documented, however less is known about their use by individual scholars. With a focus on the social sciences, this paper contributes to the existing literature on indicators and metrics use in fields with diverse publication practices. Scholars in Australia and Sweden were asked about their use and reasons for using metrics. A total of 581 completed surveys were analyzed to generate descriptive statistics, with textual analysis performed on comments provided to open questions. While just under half of the participant group had used metrics, the Australians reported use in twice the proportion of their Swedish peers. Institutional policies and processes were frequently associated with use, and the scholars’ comments suggest a high level of awareness of some metrics as well as strategic behavior in demonstrating research performance. There is also evidence of tensions between scholars’ research evaluation environment and their disciplinary values and publication practices.
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