I wouldn’t argue with any of the points in Ken’s email. My own email was not
seeking to contest these. It should be noted though that ThomsonReuters will
expect to be paid for the work associated with the UK’s research evaluation
(if it happens, which I think it will, in some form). In this respect vested
interests (the publishers) will continue to be sustained.
For artists and arts institutions who are engaged in (and whose academic
jobs are to a large measure justified by) research this will make an
interesting challenge. If the role of peer review in the UK research
evaluation exercise is diminished or replaced by a citation index how will
the current system, where artefacts and exhibitions can be evaluated as
research outcomes, function? Is this the end, in the UK, of recognising the
creative arts and their native modalities of outcome as research (as opposed
to research about the creative arts)? If that is the case then numerous
initiatives that many of us here have engaged with, including things like
CRUMB, will be potentially compromised.
There will be those who would be rather pleased with this eventuality.
edinburgh college of art
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From: Ken Friedman <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: Ken Friedman <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 23:42:49 +0100
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [NEW-MEDIA-CURATING] New Models of Academic Publishing
While I recognize your concern, there are two different issues here.
Metrics is based on several factors. These include impact, publishing, and
citation counts. ISI cites only to and from journals within the ISI
database. To sell the database, they must cover the journals that have
impact in a field. As a result, the growing impact of open access journals
is changing the content of the ISI database.
Engagement in wire services and news services means that ThomsonReuters has
a longer history in electronic and online publishing than nearly any other
publisher. They make money selling information. The information counts for
more than the package -- digits and pixels make as much money for them as
paper. They want to make money. If collaborating with online journals helps
them to make money, they will embrace online journals for the ISI indexes.
In fact, they aready do so.
You can learn more at:
As essay describing evaluation and inclusion criteria appears at:
So first, ISI does incude electronic journals and will increasingly include
more open source journals. Second, other issues at stake mean that metrics
cannot exclusively favor ISI. The reason for this is that most specialized
fields include highly rated journals with great specific impact that do not
appear in ISI lists. Second, ISI does not cover monographs -- where in many
fields, monographs from strong publishers have the greatest impact of all.
It is vital to be watchful and to lobby effectively toward government for
appropriate metrics. Norway's metrics are highly effective because they
allow for articles in high ranked journals and good journals, as well as for
books and book chapters.
The system allocates 1 point for an article in any good journal (level 1), 3
points for an article in a select group of high ranked journals (level 2), 5
points for a book from a good publisher (level 1), and 8 points for a book
from a top publisher (level 2). Book chapters from level 1 and 2 publishers
count for a fraction of a point or a full point.
You can see the system here to judge its breadth and usability across
fields. It is also a useful data base on journals and publishers:
Publishers have a great deal of influence, but I would not agree that they
are in control. I suggest that we can exert great influence as academics,
and those who also hold administrative posts with budget authority over
staff resources and research or library facilities can exert significant
power if we also make a case for our position.
On Sat, 10 May 2008 22:00:14 +0100, Simon Biggs <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>To take this back to where we began; open access to academic journals and
>how this relates to vested interests in academe and publishing. Whilst I
>noted that a stated policy aspiration in the UK is that all publicly funded
>research will be published online and made freely accessable there is
>another side to this �logic�. The UK is currently reviewing its methods for
>evaluating academic research and thus how it is funded. It is looking very
>seriously at adopting certain aspects of the US system. Specifically, it
>would seem we will move, to a great or lesser degree, to a citation metric
>to determine quality (how many citations a paper receives will determine its
>value). Currently the proposal is that the system will be based upon
>(perhaps partly run by) Thompson/Reuters Web of Science database. This just
>about assures that vested interests (the publishers) will keep the whip