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Gaming the Metrics: Misconduct and Manipulation in Academic Research (Infrastructures)

Gaming the Metrics: Misconduct and Manipulation in Academic Research (Infrastructures)

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Publication Date: January 28th, 2020
Publisher:
The MIT Press
ISBN:
9780262537933
Pages:
306
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Description

How the increasing reliance on metrics to evaluate scholarly publications has produced new forms of academic fraud and misconduct.

The traditional academic imperative to “publish or perish” is increasingly coupled with the newer necessity of “impact or perish”—the requirement that a publication have “impact,” as measured by a variety of metrics, including citations, views, and downloads. Gaming the Metrics examines how the increasing reliance on metrics to evaluate scholarly publications has produced radically new forms of academic fraud and misconduct. The contributors show that the metrics-based “audit culture” has changed the ecology of research, fostering the gaming and manipulation of quantitative indicators, which lead to the invention of such novel forms of misconduct as citation rings and variously rigged peer reviews.
The chapters, written by both scholars and those in the trenches of academic publication, provide a map of academic fraud and misconduct today. They consider such topics as the shortcomings of metrics, the gaming of impact factors, the emergence of so-called predatory journals, the “salami slicing” of scientific findings, the rigging of global university rankings, and the creation of new watchdogs and forensic practices.

About the Author

Mario Biagioli is Distinguished Professor of Law and Communication at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Yves Gingras is Professor and Canada Research Chair in History and Sociology of Science, Department of History, at Université du Québec à Montréal.

Paul Wouters is Professor of Scientometrics and Director of the Centre for Science and Technology Studies at Leiden University.

James R. Griesemer is Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of California, Davis.

Emmanuel Didier is a Full Professor at the Centre Maurice Halbwachs at École Normale Supérieure, Paris, and a member of the Center for the Study of Invention and Social Process at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is a founding member of EpiDaPo (Epigenetics, Data, Politics), initially a joint research unit of CNRS and UCLA. He taught at the University of Chicago and at UCLA and now teaches at Ecole Normale Supérieure and Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Economique, both in Paris.

Finn Brunton is Assistant Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University and the author of Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet (MIT Press).