Cargo Cult Science

I have quite vivid memories of sitting in front of the (black and white) television as a child, watching documentaries about the cargo cults of the Pacific islands. They have largely faded away and I suspect that many of our students and younger researchers have never heard of them, but cargo cults were a big

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Fraudulent authorship

The metrification of research assessment, one symptom of the corporatization of universities and research institutions, is especially driven by the perceived need of those who don’t really understand research to administer and oversee those who do. As a consequence, we see the ascent of metrics which are as easy to misinterpret as they are to

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Beam plots: a better tool for evaluating research output

The metrification of the research enterprise is inescapable but, used properly, brings a measure of fairness to the evaluation of researchers and research producing organizations. However, a drawback that we have discussed previously is that individual metrics provide only a pinhole view of the researcher or organization. We therefore need to appreciate the limitations of

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