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Third of scientists unhappy with citation weight

One in three applicants to Dutch public research funder NWO are critical of the funder’s use of citation rates and publication frequency to assess the excellence of proposals.

A survey of 748 scientists who had applied for an NWO grant showed that 34 per cent were unhappy with the use of publications and citations as a measure of the quality of research. A total of 36 per cent of respondents thought the measure positive, while 30 per cent had a neutral view.

The survey found that scientists in the humanities and social sciences had a more critical view of citation rates as a marker of quality, with 46 per cent of respondents in this field feeling negative about appraising research in such a way.

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