n South African Journal of Higher Education - Against journal articles for measuring value in university output

Volume 24, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



The following lines of arguments against the metrics of journal articles is developed: 1) Textual output should no longer be main valued output; 2) Digitalization enables other ways of advancing knowledge; 3) Measures by journal article favours the disciplines of Natural Science and Engineering (NSE) and moulds other disciplines of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) to their values and modes of working; 4) Bibliometrics based on citations should be modified by webmetrics; 5) Even within textual output, article writing is over-compensated compared to editing and reviewing and conference convening; 6) Incentives for textual output disregard output in other media; 7) The current incentives devalue output for public enlightment. As the writer is in South Africa, the main policy references and recommendations relate to the South African Higher Education system.

This activity of writing a journal article against journal articles may at first seem dubious to those habituated to this prime measure of the academic career, but the changing media of publication make it worthwhile to challenge the current scenario in South African Higher Education.

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