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Research Details

Metrics and Mechanisms: Measuring the Unmeasurable in the Science of Science

Abstract

What science does, what science could do, and how to make science work? If we want to know the answers to these questions, we need to be able to uncover the structures and mechanisms of science, in addition to the metrics that are easily collectable and quantifiable. In this review article, we link metrics to mechanisms, by demonstrating how emerging metrics not only offer complementaries to the existing metrics, but also shed light on the underlying social organization and function of science. Based on fundamental properties of science emerging across the units of analysis, we classify existing theories and findings into, hot and cold science referring to attention to scientific fields, fast and slow science reflecting productivity of scientists and teams, soft and hard science revealing reproducibility of research papers. We suggest that curiosity about social mechanisms of science since Derek J. de Solla Price, Eugene Garfield, Robert K. Merton, and many others complement the zeitgeist in pursuing new, complex metrics without understanding the underlying processes.

Type

Working Paper

Author(s)

Lingfei Wu, Aniket Kittur, Hyejin Youn, Stasa Milojevic, Erin Leahey, Stephen M Fiore, Yong Yeol Ahn

Date Published

2022

Citations

Wu, Lingfei, Aniket Kittur, Hyejin Youn, Stasa Milojevic, Erin Leahey, Stephen M Fiore, and Yong Yeol Ahn. 2022. Metrics and Mechanisms: Measuring the Unmeasurable in the Science of Science.

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