This Wednesday, September 1, 2010, I’ll start a new job as director of the Centre for Science and Technology Studies at Leiden University. Exciting!
With this blog, I will try to share my personal impressions and experiences at the Centre. Also, and perhaps more importantly, I will use this blog to develop ideas about the role of citation analysis, quantitative indicators, and evaluation at universities and in scientific research. Researchers are increasingly subjected to regular evaluations of their work. Empirical evidence and quantitative indicators have played an ever increasing role in this. It has created what I call a "citation culture" in science. This started in the natural sciences, but nowadays also researchers in the social sciences and in the humanities are confronted with these measures.
I am interested in the question of how this has influenced the act of creating scientific and scholarly knowledge. But I am also intrigued by the potential of quantitative studies of research to get a better understanding of the dynamics of knowledge. And, lastly, will it be possible for individual researchers to get behind the steering wheels of evaluation procedures? Is this something we should aim for?