Metrics: a fetish for high-profile journals

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Precise research indicators may be crucial to the field and useful for grant committees, but the failings of the predicted h-index proposed by Daniel Acuna et al. mean that it is unlikely to be classed among them (Nature 489, 201–202; 2012).

For example, the h-index ranking of two co-authors of a research paper can be reversed if they have different individual h-indices to start with (L. Waltman and N. J. Van Eck J. Am. Soc. Inform. Sci. Technol. 63, 406–415; 2012). Also, the formula for predicting an h-index is probably valid only for neuroscientists, given that different fields have other significant features. The formula's structure does not consider publications in conference proceedings or in books as variables, thereby exacerbating the fetishism surrounding publication in high-profile journals.

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Correspondence to Ronald Rousseau.

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Rousseau, R., Hu, X. Metrics: a fetish for high-profile journals. Nature 490, 343 (2012) doi:10.1038/490343b

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