Re: [xmca] Publish or Perish indices

From: David Preiss <davidpreiss who-is-at>
Date: Sun Nov 04 2007 - 21:19:00 PST


Echoing your words, it never stops to astonish me how the use of
these indexes is transforming university activity in a very negative
way. In my opinion, the first impact of ISI is that nobody can take
risks, nobody can get out of the mainstream, and... nobody can do
science in any language that is not English. I wonder when these
indexes started to become so popular, as to settle as the final
criterion to judge the intellectual productivity of an academic and
to become standards to be imitated by the developing world.

I really would love to learn about what the most experienced people
in this list have to say about the use of ISI and how the inclusion
of the Internet radicalized the "indexation" of human intellect.
There is a real cultural-historical process behind it and I can think
of a very nice application of Yrjö Engëstrom diagrams to the nature
of academic life these days. A new ivory tower, whose ceiling is the
impact factor of a journal?

On Nov 4, 2007, at 10:45 PM, Mike Cole wrote:

> Very helpful, Michael.
> The "publish or perish site," as Peter noted, is interesting. It is
> not
> error free. You need to go through their "hits" and clean it
> up but it includes a LOT of pubs that ISI does not touch. Of
> course, given
> the "join our fraternity of experts" role of ISI that may
> not cut it with everyone, but the additional info is important.
> Meantime, how about we get great research done that transforms the
> world.
> People might recognize it has happened (of course,
> given the retrospective nature of such recognition we will not be
> around to
> witness it, but think how happy our progeny will be!)
> :-)
> mike
> On Nov 4, 2007 5:25 PM, Wolff-Michael Roth <> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> further to the issue of how to get our journal more valorized. Here
>> the Thompson information in impact factor, which is the factor most
>> scientists consider to be the important thing to watch (SCIENCE has
>> IF=30, NATURE IF=27, J LEARN SCI IF~3). Here is how it is calculated
>> Figure 1: Calculation for journal impact factor.
>> A= total cites in 2006
>> B= 2006 cites to articles published in 2004-5 (this is a subset of A)
>> C= number of articles published in 2004-5
>> D= B/C = 2006 impact factor
>> I did a quick count. In 2006, we had B=11 cites to articles published
>> in 2004-5
>> We had published C=(I don't know whether they count commentaries,
>> book reviews, assuming they don't:) 21
>> D=B/C=0.52
>> In Education, this would put us at a rank of about 49 out of 100
>> journals; in Ed Psych on 27 out of 40, in Social Sciences
>> Interdisciplinary at rank 31 of 48. I also believe that the citations
>> have to come from other journals, at least, this is what a quick
>> check in another journal appeared to indicate (J LEARN SCI, which is
>> #1 in Education, #2 in PSYCH ED).
>> So what you can do is publish in ISI journals, and when you do, cite
>> works in our journal MCA.
>> Cheers,
>> Michael
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David Preiss, Ph.D.
Subdirector de Extensión y Comunicaciones
Escuela de Psicología
Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
Av Vicuña Mackenna 4860
Macul, Santiago

Fono: 3544605
Fax: 3544844
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Received on Sun Nov 4 21:23 PST 2007

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