One of the key questions in developing information systems for science is, how does a given system make the project more successful? If I’m asking investigators to invest time and money into a new system, there has to be a tangible benefit. But this begs the question, what is success in science? If we can’t measure success in science, how can we demonstrate that a system makes the project more successful? It’s not like a clinical trial, where you can measure the success of one project with a portal against the success of a project without one. Scientific projects aren’t directly comparable. There’s also the question of the difference between a successful project and a successful investigator.
Kristi Holmes (@kristiholmes) has tweeted several interesting links recently focused on measuring science, especially re-examining current measurements like citation analysis. Here are just a couple interesting ones:
Research and Productivity Measurement Webcast, Organized by Elsevier & SLA DC Chapter
New Measures of Scholarly Impact, from Inside Higher Ed
Purpose in scientific research, blog post from Culturing Science, discussing how the grants system forces scientists to think within the box of their current research, unable to follow interesting discoveries