Monday, June 05, 2006

The impact of impact; and, peer review reexamined

Following up on Maxine's post about impact in physics....

A couple of interesting items regarding scholarly publishing have been making their way across the wires today.

(1) ACRLog points to some recent discussions about journal impact factors, including a Wall Street Journal article that discusses impact factor inflation and a Chronicle of Higher Education article (subscription required; UMass users can follow link) on problems quantifying impact in the humanities.

(2) Nature is hosting a web focus, including an online debate, regarding peer review in the scientific publication process:
Peer review is commonly accepted as an essential part of scientific publication. But the ways peer review is put into practice vary across journals and disciplines. What is the best method of peer review? Is it truly a value-adding process? What are the ethical concerns? And how can new technology be used to improve traditional models?
(via Science Library Pad)

These are issues that are definitely on people's minds here at UMass Amherst, as the campus undergoes a research benchmarking process and begins to explore the creation of an institutional repository.

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