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FW: next Research Assessment Exercise will probably include citation analysis |

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The Scientist   Volume 16 | Issue 22 | 54 | Nov. 11, 2002
Citing UK Science Quality

The next Research Assessment Exercise will probably include citation
analysis | By Sam Jaffe
The next RAE might be vastly different from the one completed in 2001.
Faced with demands to make the process cheaper and more fair, the Higher
Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE) is considering using citation
analysis--ranking the number of times peers cite a researcher's work to
determine the quality of the research--as a significant part of the RAE.
"Citation analysis is a very useful tool in assessing the impact of
research," says Sian Thomas, director of research at the HEFCE, the main
overseer of the RAE. "It's impractical for many disciplines that the RAE
tracks, especially in the humanities, but its efficacy has been proven in
the life sciences." She says the UK academic community, while once
resistant to this analysis, is coming around to accepting it.
Several papers retroactively matched up citation analysis with the RAE
results and came up with very similar conclusions. The most prominent
paper, written by Smith and Philip Eysenck of the University of London's
psychology department, looked at the citation counts of about half of all
the psychology departments that submitted information for the RAE. By
using citation analysis alone, the study came up with an extremely high
correlation of 0.91 (with 1.0 being a perfec correlation), with the actual
rankings determined by the RAE psychology panel.
. A. Smith, M. Eysenck, "The correlation between RAE ratings and citation
counts in psychology," June 2002, available online at: