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Informed peer review and uninformed bibliometrics?

by J Neufeld, M von Ins
Research Evaluation ()

Abstract

Recent literature on issues relevant to bibliometric indicator relations and peer review discusses whether bibliometric indicators can predict the success of research grant applications. For example, Van den Besselaar and Leydesdorff (2009) reported a higher average number of publications/citations for the group of approved applicants than for the rejected applicants (section Social and Behavioral Sciences of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research [NOW], MaGW). However, this difference disappears or even reverses when the group of 275 successful applicants was compared only to the best 275 rejected applicants. Given these findings, we have continued our analyses of publication data of applicants for the Emmy Noether-Programme (ENP) provided by the German Research Foundation. First, we compared the group of actual ENP applicants to a sample of potential applicants, which revealed a 'lack of low performers' among the actual ENP applicants. Furthermore, we conducted discriminant analyses to predict funding decisions on the basis of several bibliometric indicators. © Beech Tree Publishing 2011.

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