From Research Evaluation to Research Analytics. The digitization of academic performance measurement
Keywords:Infrastructure studies, data analytics, evaluative bibliometrics, academic performance measurement
One could think that bibliometric measurement of academic performance has always been digital since the computer-assisted invention of the Science Citation Index. Yet, since the 2000s, the digitization of bibliometric infrastructure has accelerated at a rapid pace. Citation databases are indexing an increasing variety of publication types. Altmetric data aggregators are producing data on the reception of research outcomes. Machine-readable persistent identifiers are created to unambiguously identify researchers, research organizations, and research objects; and evaluative software tools and current research information systems are constantly enlarging their functionalities to make use of these data and extract meaning from them. In this article, we analyse how these developments in evaluative bibliometrics have contributed to an extension of indicator-based research evaluation towards data-driven research analytics. Drawing on empirical material from blogs and websites as well as from research and policy papers, we discuss how interoperability, scalability, and flexibility as material specificities of digital infrastructures generate new ways of data production and their assessment, which affect the possibilities of how academic performance can be understood and (e)valuated.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Anne K. Krüger, Sabrina Petersohn
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