ESEP 8:49-60 (2008)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esep00092

Challenges for scientometric indicators: data demining, knowledge-flow measurements and diversity issues

Michel Zitt1,2,*, Elise Bassecoulard1

1Lereco U-1134, SAE2 department, INRA, BP 71627, 44316 Nantes Cedex 03, France
2Observatoire des Sciences et des Techniques (OST), 93 rue de Vaugirard, 75006 Paris, France

ABSTRACT: Scientometrics and bibliometrics are being forced to respond to a strong increase in demand (e.g. research assessment practices, economics of science & technology, and innovation) and new forms of supply (e.g. availability of publication sources and statistics, Internet developments and online tools). This situation results in contrasting perspectives: on the one hand, it can favour spectacular ‘hit-parades’ and some veneration of numbers; on the other hand, it paves the way for more cautious and sophisticated evaluation systems, rooted in a better understanding of the dynamics of science. This paper describes some of the challenges for bibliometric indicators (data ‘demining’, knowledge-flow measurements and diversity issues) underlying, among other applications, reliable evaluation procedures. Responding to these challenges is necessary to promote a better use of scientometrics, although there are no guarantees against misuse in decision-making contexts. A few open issues are outlined on the dynamics of science, challenges of the web age, and interactions between scientometrics and scientific communities.


KEY WORDS: Evaluation · Scientometrics · Bibliometrics · Indicators · Scientific networks · Multidisciplinarity


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Cite this article as: Zitt M, Bassecoulard E (2008) Challenges for scientometric indicators: data demining, knowledge-flow measurements and diversity issues. Ethics Sci Environ Polit 8:49-60. https://doi.org/10.3354/esep00092

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