On publication based indicators

S. Arunachalam

CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 86, NO. 5, 10 MARCH 2004

According to Satyanarayana and Jain1 ‘the scientific community is not satisfied with the existing quantitative indices like the SCI and its twin publication, the JCR’. I wonder how many scientists they polled to arrive at this conclusion. If this were the case, Thomson-ISI would have gone out of business long ago; in reality though the company is thriving and the revenue brought in by citation index databases and their derivatives is on the rise. Since the early 1990s, SCI has spawned half a dozen field-specific citation index databases (for neurosciences, biotechnology, materials science, etc.) and Thomson-ISI is now extending their database back to 1900 so one can trace the evolution of ideas over a much longer period. The idea that the cognitive link between citing and cited documents provides a far better handle for retrieving related docu-ments than mere keywords was originally exploited by Gene Garfield in the early 1960s. It has since been picked up by other database producers and new services such as CrossRef have come up. If scientists were unhappy with SCI, these developments would not have taken place. The citation databases of ISI are used widely by scientists in many countries, as evidenced by the large number of subscribers. I myself subscribe to CD ver According to Satyanarayana and Jain 1 ‘the scientific community is not satisfied with the existing quantitative indices like the SCI and its twin publication, the JCR’. I wonder how many scientists they polled to arrive at this conclusion. If this were the case, Thomson-ISI would have gone out of business long ago; in reality though the company is thriving and the revenue brought in by citation index data bases and their derivatives is on the rise. Since the early 1990s, SCI has spawned half a dozen field-specific citation index databases (for neurosciences, biotechno logy, materials science, etc.) and Thom son-ISI is now extending their database back to 1900 so one can trace the evolu tion of ideas over a much longer period. The idea that the cognitive link between citing and cited documents provides a far better handle for retrieving related docu ments than mere keywords was origi nally exploited by Gene Garfield in the early 1960s. It has since been picked up by other database producers and new ser vices such as CrossRef have come up. If scientists were unhappy with SCI, these developments would not have taken place. The citation databases of ISI are used widely by scientists in many countries, as evidenced by the large number of…….

http://dlist.sir.arizona.edu/869/01/Arun_16.pdf

subscribers. I myself subscribe to CD ver-

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