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Evaluating Research Activity:Impact Factor vs. Research Factor

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  • Silvia Ferrini

    ()

  • Marco P. Tucci

    ()

Abstract

The Impact Factor (IF) “has moved ... from an obscure bibliometric indicator to become the chief quantitative measure of the quality of a journal, its research papers, the researchers who wrote those papers, and even the institution they work in” ([2], p. 1). However, the use of this index for evaluating individual scientists is dubious. The present work compares the ranking of research units generated by the Research Factor (RF) index with that associated with the popular IF. The former, originally introduced in [38], reflects article and book publications and a host of other activities categorized as coordination activities (e.g., conference organization, research group coordination), dissemination activities (e.g., conference and seminar presentations, participation in research group), editorial activities (e.g., journal editor, associate editor, referee) and functional activities (e.g., Head of Department). The main conclusion is that by replacing the IF with the RF in hiring, tenure decisions and awarding of grants would greatly increase the number of topics investigated and the number and quality of long run projects.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Siena in its series Department of Economics University of Siena with number 614.

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Date of creation: Jul 2011
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Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:614

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Keywords: scientific research assessment; Impact Factor; bibliometric indices; feasible Research Factor;

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  1. Stigler, George J & Stigler, Stephen M & Friedland, Claire, 1995. "The Journals of Economics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 331-59, April.
  2. Michael Bräuninger & Justus Haucap, 2003. "Reputation and Relevance of Economics Journals," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 175-197, 05.
  3. Phillips, Peter C.B., 1985. "Professor J. D. Sargan," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 119-139, April.
  4. Cooley, Thomas F & Prescott, Edward C, 1976. "Estimation in the Presence of Stochastic Parameter Variation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(1), pages 167-84, January.
  5. Marco p. Tucci & Sandra Fontani & Silvia Ferrini, 2008. "L’ “R-Factor”: un nuovo modo di valutare la ricerca scientifica," Department of Economics University of Siena 527, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  6. Oswald, Andrew J., 2006. "An Examination of the Reliability of Prestigious Scholarly Journals: Evidence and Implications for Decision-makers," IZA Discussion Papers 2070, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Martin Davies & Joe Hirschberg & Jenny Lye & Carol Johnston & Ian Mcdonald, 2007. "Systematic Influences On Teaching Evaluations: The Case For Caution ," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 18-38, 03.
  8. Tom Coupé, 2003. "Revealed Performances: Worldwide Rankings of Economists and Economics Departments, 1990-2000," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(6), pages 1309-1345, December.
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