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Promotion panels should look beyond citations, say academics

The narrow audience for academic publications means that promotion panels should take a wider view when judging an academic's overall influence.

This suggestion was made by two academics on the London School of Economics and Political Science’s Impact of Social Sciences blog. In a post published on 9 April, Asit Biswas, the founder of the Third World Centre for Water Management in Mexico, and Julian Kirchherr, a doctoral researcher in the geography and environment school at the University of Oxford, said that the prohibitive cost of access to academic journals, as well as the volume and length of papers, prevented policymakers, business leaders and journalists from reading them.

“We know of no senior policymaker or senior business leader who ever reads any peer-reviewed papers, even in recognised journals like Nature, Science or The Lancet,” Biswas and Kirchherr wrote.

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