Re: AMERICAN-SCIENTIST-OPEN-ACCESS-FORUM Digest - 6 Aug 2008 to 7 Aug 2008 (#2008-151)

From: Yves Gingras <gingras.yves_at_UQAM.CA>
Date: Fri, 8 Aug 2008 11:30:19 -0400

Hello all,

This type of ranking is to me clearly a case of crank ranking....

What is THAT supposed to mean? Quality? But of What? In fact it means
not much of anything in terms of academic reality that should be the
basic focus of universities and indicators rerlated to their
missions. The accompanying text of the message seems to imply that
the changes in positions are related  to any kind of improvement of a
university., which is clearly NOT the case.  Worst still, in terms of
interpretation, the text notes that " the UNAM climbs up to the
position number 51, a relevant change from previous number 59." (we
underline) Well... In fact, this changes of 8 positions among a
thousand is in all probability (99.99...) due to a random change from
year to year given the large variance of the sample.

Let us hope those who like constructing indicators wil use their time
to find meaningful ones instead of trying to interpret smalll
variations in pseudo common-sense  indicators (here web hits) which
are not really connected to universities' missions ...

Have a nice day

Yves Gingras
Received on Fri Aug 08 2008 - 21:13:19 BST

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