Thursday, 30 May 2013

The ''notorious'' impact factor.....

Read the original article here....

Summary points:

Richard Van Noorden askes the following question: If enough eminent people stand together to condemn a controversial practice, will that make it stop?

That’s what more than 150 scientists and 75 science organizations are hoping for today, with a joint statement called the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). It deplores the way some metrics — especially the notorious Journal Impact Factor (JIF) — are misused as quick and dirty assessments of scientists’ performance and the quality of their research papers.
  • Scientists routinely rant that funding agencies and institutions judge them by the impact factor of the journal they publish in — rather than by the work they actually do. This is what our universities are also stop people from getting promoted especially third world developing countries....

  • The notorious IF bears little relation to the citations any one article is likely to receive, because only a few articles in a journal receive most of the citations. Focus on the JIF has changed scientists’ incentives, leading them to be rewarded for getting into high-impact publications rather than for doing good science. This is related in detail in the post Research and Development v/s Research and Publications.

  • Even the company that creates the impact factor, Thomson Reuters, has issued advice that it does not measure the quality of an individual article in a journal, but rather correlates to the journal’s reputation in its field.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Studying the Long-Term Effects of Online Education

Online learning has grown into an integral element of higher education. No longer an experimental novelty practiced by a handful of tech-loving pioneers, digital classrooms have enjoyed a steady surge in popularity for their low cost and ease of access. But you can't change the way people approach learning without permanently impacting a few things along the way. Recent studies offer plenty of insight when it comes to better understanding how online and blended courses influence the students enrolled in them. And current trends and undertakings might reveal some of the possible hamstrings they might encounter — and, thankfully, some of their possible solutions.
Read the full article on