Bibliometrics and peer review – the Italian view

A very interesting new article has just been published by researchers in Italy, who have analysed data from the first Italian national research evaluation to see whether there is a correlation between bibliometric indicators and peer review.

The questions they posed were:

  1. Are peer review judgements and (article and journal) bibliometric indicators independent variables?
  2. What is the strength of the association?
  3. Is the association between peer judgement and article citation rating significantly stronger than the association between peer judgement and journal citation rating?

They found “a compelling body of evidence that judgements given by domain experts and bibliometric indicators are significantly positively correlated” and in their conclusions, they suggest:

Bibliometrics are not independent of peer review assessment. right triangle, filled The correlation between peer assessment and bibliometric indicators is significant but not perfect. right triangle, filled Peer review should be integrated with bibliometric indicators in national assessment exercises.

Franceschet, M & Constantini, A (2010) “The first Italian research assessment exercise: A bibliometric perspective“, Journal of Informetrics, in press, corrected proof Science Direct [Online].


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