The Social Dynamics of Scientometric Indicators: Intended and Unintended Consequences

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 08:30-10:20
RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology (host committee)

Language: English

S&T policies have continuously searched for evidence-based policy instruments aimed at improving the efficiency of national S&T systems since the mid-20th century. The massive efforts of the scientific communities, national statistical offices, and international organisations have produced a near unlimited supply of S&T statistical data and indicators. Paradoxically, these efforts have not answered the key questions: which indicators to select for evidence-based policy making and how to interpret them without robust theory. Moreover, there is a tension between use of “rational” tools such as S&T indicators for analysis of research inputs and outputs and justification of certain decisions: policy-makers rather use the quantitative basis as an “automatic pilot”, which depicts their decisions as “rational” and “necessary”, to legitimize their activity. Academic institutions, in turn, strike back by changing their behavior and playing the system in order to overcome normative framing. Growing scientific fraud and dishonesty is one result of the mechanistic use of indicators and the domination of quantitative logic in research evaluation and regulation of R&D activities. The session aims to examine the social processes behind the figures and welcomes both theoretical contributions that conceptualize science-policy interactions and empirical studies devoted to the analysis of social dimension of science-metrics.
Session Organizers:
Konstantin FURSOV, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russian Federation and Liliia ZEMNUKHOVA, Sociological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Federation
Oral Presentations
Paradoxes of Modern Scientific Publication Activity in the Field of Contemporary Russian Science: Genesis, Diagnosis, Trends
Anna KULESHOVA, Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM), Moscow, Russian Federation; Denis PODVOYSKIY, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University), Russian Federation
The “Flagship”-Institutions of Current Higher Education and Research Policy Under Scrutiny
Kalle ARTUKKA, University of Turku, RUSE, Finland; Juha HEDMAN, University of Turku, RUSE, Finland; Osmo KIVINEN, University of Turku, RUSE, Finland
Science, Medicine and Industry: Translational Research As a Framework for Innovation
Leo MIGNOT, Université de Bordeaux, France; Vincent GRIMAUD, Université de Bordeaux, France; Pascal RAGOUET, Université de Bordeaux, France