Promoting the responsible use of scientometrics in Switzerland

ETH Library, ETH Zurich, has launched the “Swiss Year of Scientometrics”

Whether we like it or not, scientometric indicators and data are inevitably important for assessing the research performance of countries, institutions, departments, research groups and individual researchers. This not only applies to the science landscape of international research, but also to higher education institutions (HEI) in Switzerland. Correct usage of these indicators and data requires proper contextualisation and interpretation; however, they are often used inappropriately. Careless use of these indicators and data is problematic as it can lead to misinterpretation and ultimately to poor decisions.

In this light, the ETH Library has launched the “Swiss Year of Scientometrics” (SYoS), a project funded by swissuniversities. As part of SYoS, the ETH Library will be organising four lectures that will be held in June, October, February and April. Each lecture will be accompanied by a workshop as well as blog posts. All of the dates and details of the events will be published in this blog.

The main goal of the project is to initiate a discourse about the responsible and appropriate use of scientometrics in Switzerland .

The primary area of focus will be the role that scientometrics could play in the future given the growing importance of open science. We argue that scientometrics have a great deal of potential to provide important insights into (the impact of) Swiss research when they are used in the right context.

With SYoS, we aim to:

  1. raise awareness for the potential of scientometric services for Swiss research institutions
  2. explore opportunities, requirements and constraints for scientometric services in Switzerland
  3. define and promote the transparent and responsible use of scientometrics in Switzerland in the context of DORA

We are confident that the project will stimulate fruitful debates on the responsible use of scientometric indicators and data in Switzerland.

This blog complements the lecture/workshop series. We will be updating the blog with more posts about the topic in the coming months. Our contributors will be experts dealing with different aspects of scientometrics, with a special focus on Switzerland.

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Dr David Johann

Dr David Johann is head of Knowledge Management and subject specialist for humanities and social sciences at the ETH Library. He leads the project "Swiss Year of Scientometrics".

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