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Reflections on how to evaluate the professional value of scientific papers and their corresponding citations

Jaroslav Fiala, Jiří J. Mareš () and Jaroslav Šesták ()
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Jaroslav Fiala: University of West Bohemia
Jiří J. Mareš: v.v.i, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Jaroslav Šesták: University of West Bohemia

Scientometrics, 2017, vol. 112, issue 1, 697-709

Abstract: Abstract It is inevitable that the ´publish or perish´ paradigm has implications for the quality of research published because this leads to scientific output being evaluated based on quantity and not preferably on quality. The pressure to continually publish results in the creation of predatory journals acting without quality peer review. Moreover the citation records of papers do not reflect their scientific quality but merely increase the impact of their quantity. The growth of sophisticated ´push -button´ technologies allows for easier preparation of publications while facilitating ready-to-publish data. Articles can thus be compiled merely through combining various measurements, usually without thought to their significance and to what purpose they may serve. Moreover any deep-rooted theory which contravenes mainstream assumptions is not welcomed because it challenges often long-established practice. The driving force for the production of an ever growing number of scientific papers is the need for authors to be recognised in order to be seriously considered when seeking financial support. Funding and fame are distributed to scientists according to their publication and citation scores. While the number of publications is clearly a quantitative criterion, much hope has been placed on citation analysis, which promised to serve as an adequate measure of genuine scientific value, i.e. of the quality of the scientific work.

Keywords: Professional value; Citation response; Quantity versus quality; Impact factors; Databases (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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