Science Online '09: Sunday AM
Reputation, authority and incentives. Or: How to get rid of the Impact Factor — moderated by Peter Binfield and Bjoern Brembs
I was frustrated by the premises of this session: that the IF is inherently evil, nobody likes or uses it, and everyone agrees that it should go away. I was happy to hear someone piping up that they do indeed use it (if only as a first cut) and it does have some value. Like any other mathematical formula, it isn't inherently evil. It's only as good as the data that go into it, and it can only provide so much information. The problem is that it's abused and misused. It can be a useful tool if used as part of a much larger set of metrics. For example, for collection development decisions, when combined with local citation measures, subject matter expert opinion, cost (per page, part of package) measures, topical relevance, local usage, appearance on syllabi/course reserves, if a squeaky wheel is on the editorial board....
What was even more frustrating is the idea that one measure could be easily replaced with another simple measure, that we could brainstorm in one hour. Sigh.
On the positive side, I think it was Gee of Nature who suggested compling multiple inputs into single pages -- ideas of adding in commentary from the blogosphere, pre-prints, and other things seems useful. From this we somehow got around to uniquely identifying authors. We discussed on friendfeed the merits of developing a new tool or adapting openID or like to scientific purposes. Along these same lines, the value of having a consortium of publishers manage this (like DOI which is very successful) or using some other open model.
Providing public health and medical information to all — moderated by Martin Fenner
Martin prepared a very useful framework and posted it to the wiki page
Doctors post for doctors - as a filtering mechanism. These filtering mechanisms are quite common in clinical medicine, like Cochrane Reviews. Doctors also post for the public, to comment on new research.
then there was our session, sigh. It needs its own poast
and I went home.