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Volume 24 Issue 12 (December 2014)

GSA Today

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Article, pp. 44–45 | Full Text | PDF (91KB)

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How scientometry is killing science

A.M. Celâl Şengör

TÜ Maden Fakültesi, Jeoloji Bölümü ve Avrasya Yerbilimleri Enstitüsü, Ayaza˘ga 34469 stanbul, Turkey;

Publish or perish” is making science perish.

When I was a student, one of my professors once said that the quality of a field geologist is assessed through gossip. When I asked him what he meant by it, he responded by pointing out that unlike in laboratory work or purely theoretical endeavors, a field geologist’s work was difficult to impossible to replicate and therefore to check. One therefore relied on the opinion of those people who were closely associated with that work through similar interest or actual collaboration or simply close acquaintanceship with the author, since publication in a reputable journal does not always guarantee high-quality work. When one needed evaluation of a certain geologist’s work, one asked those people’s opinion who were familiar with it.

Manuscript received 4 Aug. 2014; accepted 29 Sept. 2014.

doi: 10.1130/GSATG226GW.1