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Johannes Angermuller, Thed van Leeuwen (2019): "On the Social Uses of Scientometrics: The Quantification of Academic Evaluation and the Rise of Numerocracy in Higher Education" In: Ronny Scholz (ed.), Quantifying Approaches to Discourse for Social Scientists, London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 89-119

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Scientometrics is a type of corpus research which measures the scientific output of academic researchers and analyses underlying differences and inequalities among researchers based on their scientific outputs. This contribution discusses the history of the field since Eugene Garfield launched the Science Citation Index in 1963 and investigates its practices and indicators, such as the Journal Impact Factor or the h-index. This contribution places the development of the field in the context of the rise of ‘numerocracy’—a regime of power-knowledge which aims at governing large populations by numbers. By applying and extending Michel Foucault’s governmentality thesis, the authors point out the non-scientific conditions of scientific practices in corpus research and make the case for a socially reflexive approach.

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