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Thursday, November 5 • 2:25pm - 3:10pm
Research Metrics: Best Practice in their Day-to-Day Use

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Which is the best metric to use to uncover the merits of the journals in your collection? Should this same metric be used to understand the relative merits of the researchers at your university? Will it also work to find out which of these researchers’ articles is most impactful?

These and similar questions are hotly debated in the world of research. Quite rightly, they elicit strong, often emotional discussion, and rarely, if ever, is an answer arrived at. This is not surprising since the effort and debate stimulated by these questions cannot possibly lead to useful conclusions.  Why is this?

Research excellence is sought after everywhere in the world, but what is considered “excellent” varies. Is excellence about being well cited by peer reviewed articles, about winning funding, or about making a splash in the popular press and/or on Twitter? Is it about working with experts all over the world, registering patents, making raw research data sets available for others, or is it about educating the next generation of researchers? Research excellence is of course about all of these things and more, and trying to reduce it to a single metric is counter-productive and potentially damaging to the diversity of skills needed to solve today’s research questions.

The multi-faceted nature of research excellence can be better captured by a “basket of metrics”. Complementing expert judgment by being able to draw on a wide range of metrics from a basket allows more varied and nuanced insights into excellence than is possible by using any one metric alone. It also enables different metrics to be selected to help to answer the many different questions that are encountered in research.

We will advocate the common sense approach of using a “basket of metrics”. We will present case studies to illustrate the value of this approach, and to form the basis of discussion.

avatar for Lisa Colledge

Lisa Colledge

Director of Research Metrics, Elsevier
avatar for Helen Josephine

Helen Josephine

Head of the Engineering Library, Stanford University
Helen Josephine is the Head Librarian at the Terman Engineering Library at Stanford University. She is the subject liaison and bibliographer for the School of Engineering departments of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Electrical Engineering, and Management Science and Engineering... Read More →

Thursday November 5, 2015 2:25pm - 3:10pm EST
Cypress Ballroom North, Courtyard Marriott