The correlation between RAE ratings and citation counts in psychology

Smith, Dr Andy T and Eysenck, Prof Michael (2002) The correlation between RAE ratings and citation counts in psychology. [Departmental Technical Report] (Unpublished)

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We counted the citations received in one year (1998) by each staff member in each of 38 university psychology departments in the United Kingdom. We then averaged these counts across individuals within each department and correlated the averages with the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) grades awarded to the same departments in 1996 and 2001. The correlations were extremely high (up to +0.91). This suggests that whatever the merits and demerits of the RAE process and citation counting as methods of evaluating research quality, the two approaches measure broadly the same thing. Since citation counting is both more cost-effective and more transparent than the present system and gives similar results, there is a prima facie case for incorporating citation counts into the process, either alone or in conjunction with other measures. Some of the limitations of citation counting are discussed and some methods for minimising these are proposed. Many of the factors that dictate caution in judging individuals by their citations tend to average out when whole departments are compared.

Item Type:Departmental Technical Report
Additional Information:Westney, Lynn C. Hattendorf (1998) Historical Rankings of Science and Technology: A Citationist Perspective. The Journal of the Association for History and Computing, Vol. I, No. 1., June 1998
Keywords:research assessment exercise, rae, united kingdom, impact factor, citation analysis, scientometrics
Subjects:Computer Science > Statistical Models
Electronic Publishing > Peer Review
ID Code:2749
Deposited By: Harnad, Stevan
Deposited On:30 Jan 2003
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:55

References in Article

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