Anderson, D.L. & Tressler, J. (2011). The merits of using citations to measure research output in economics departments: The New Zealand case. (Department of Economics Working Paper Series, Number 11/11). Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6701
In this paper we explore the merits of utilizing citation counts to measure research output in economics in the context of a nation-wide research evaluation scheme. We selected one such system for study: the New Zealand government’s Programme-Based Research Fund (PBRF). Citations were collected for all refereed papers produced by New Zealand’s academic economists over the period 2000 to 2008 using the databases of the ISI/Web of Science and, to a limited extent, Google Scholar. These data allowed us to estimate the time lags in economics between publication of an article and the flow of citations; to demonstrate the impact of alternative definitions of ‘economics-relevant’ journals on citation counts; and to assess the impact of direct citation measures and alternative schemes on departmental and individual performance. Our findings suggest that the time-lags between publication and citing are such that it would be difficult to rely on citations counts to produce a meaningful measure of output in a PBRF-like research evaluation framework, especially one based explicitly on individual assessment.
University of Waikato
©2011 The Authors
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