Embracing complexity in academic performance appraisal
by Lukas Klement; Max C. Mosterd
International Journal of Complexity in Leadership and Management (IJCLM), Vol. 2, No. 3, 2013

Abstract: The field of bibliometrics gained momentum after the proposal of the h-index in 2005. Managerial decisions in academia increasingly rely on such metrics to facilitate performance appraisal. However, current bibliometrics are far from being accurate, and reinforce negative outcomes in the publication system, and science as a whole. An analysis of non-linear relationships of a number of misguided practices and fraud in academia illustrate the paradox in measuring academic productivity. Researchers' performance is measured through measuring self-reinforcing indicators, ignoring content and conceptual richness of research. The prevailing paradigm seems to reinforce output maximisation, not exploration and knowledge dissemination. Case studies of Diederik Stapel and Don Poldermans illustrate the potential dangers of current practice under specific conditions. Based on the evidence presented, the paper calls for approximating novelty and current impact.

Online publication date: Wed, 02-Jul-2014

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