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Publish or Perish

Perceived Benefits versus Unintended Consequences

Imad A. Moosa

Imad Moosa’s thought-provoking book explores the contemporary doctrine that plagues the academic sphere: the principle of publish or perish. This book identifies the pressures placed upon academics to either publish their work regularly, or suffer the consequences, including lack of promotion, or even redundancy.
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Chapter 5: The citation approach to journal ranking

Perceived Benefits versus Unintended Consequences

Imad A. Moosa

Extract

Research output is evaluated by a combination of quantity (the number of research articles published) and quality, where quality is typically measured by the status of the journal in which the research is published. The citation-based approach (also called the citational approach and bibliometric method) has become the dominant method used to rank journals, reflecting in part the increasing availability of citation data. For all practical purposes, citation analysis began with the publication of the Science Citation Index (SCI) in 1961. Measuring journal quality by citation indices is questioned on the grounds that citations do not necessarily reflect impact. Although a long list of arguments can be presented against the use of citations, the citation approach is less subjective than other approaches to journal ranking.

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