Elsevier buys Academic Analytics competitor

2/3/2017: https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2017/02/03/elsevier-acquires-altmetrics-provider

10/27/2016: Provost drops $100K subscription to faulty Academic Analytics faculty data

This is great news. The $100K that Provost Coltrane just saved will allow UO to hire a tenure track humanities professor.

Oh wait, sorry. This comes from the Provost of Georgetown University, Robert Groves. Read his full blog post (yes, their provost has real blog, with comments) here:

With the rise of the Internet and digital records of publications, comparisons of quality of universities are increasingly utilizing statistics based on this documentation (e.g., the Times Higher Education university rankings). Many academic fields themselves are comparing the product of scholars by using counts of citations to work (through h-indexes and other statistics). Journals are routinely compared on their impact partially through such citation evidence. Some academic fields have rated their journals into tiers of “quality” based on these numbers. Platforms like Google Scholar and ResearchGate are building repositories of documentation of the work of scholars. …

In short, the quality of AA coverage of the scholarly products of those faculty studied are far from perfect. Even with perfect coverage, the data have differential value across fields that vary in book versus article production and in their cultural supports for citations of others’ work. With inadequate coverage, it seems best for us to seek other ways of comparing Georgetown to other universities. For that reason, we will be dropping our subscription to Academic Analytics.

12/11/2015: Faculty object to use of secret Academic Analytics data in tenure decisions

This is at Rutgers, InsideHigherEd has the report by Colleen Flaherty here. UO has had a contract with AA for several years, at about $100K.

The data available includes reports on individual faculty, such as this, from their website:

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 12.47.16 PM

Obviously more information is good, but the administration holds these reports pretty tight to the vest – even the departmental level ones. Maybe our Senate will need to look into how these data are being used.

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8 Responses to Elsevier buys Academic Analytics competitor

  1. Dog says:

    yes Google scholar seems far more accurate and
    even academia.edu seems more accurate.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Blame it on Bob Berdahl – now working as a salesman for Academic Analytics:


    • uomatters says:

      Berdahl. Of course. From the timing, it looks like he may have convinced Lariviere to sign UO up for AA in fall 2011, while he was double-dipping as Lariviere’s consultant.

  3. uomatters says:

    Yes, Berdahl and Lariviere signed us up in fall 2011, at least according to the Provost’s Council minutes.

    So far we’ve paid Academic Analytics over $500,000. Is any administrator willing to argue that money couldn’t have been better spent somewhere else?

  4. The assertive prof says:

    Nah, don’t actually do something to save money. Just keep saying “excellence” and “flagship”… About 50 more times should do it.

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