Metrics: allow more gradual progress

Article metrics

New metrics designed to evaluate a scientist's potential, such as a future h-index depending on past trajectories (D. E. Acuna et al. Nature 489, 201–202; 2012), fuel the delusion that only fast results count. Progressive paradigms based on mature ideas, meticulous work, sound ethics, patience and cooperation may be slower, but they still contribute to science in the long term (J.-F. Lutz Nature Chem. 4, 588–589; 2012).

French physicist Louis de Broglie (1892–1987), a pioneer of quantum mechanics, once declared that had Isaac Newton lived in his day and age, Newton might never have become a scientist at all. He would have been bewildered by today's academic rat race and would probably have confined himself to his post as Warden of the Royal Mint instead.

Author information

Correspondence to Pedro Cintas.

Related links

Related links

Related links in Nature Research

Future impact: Predicting scientific success

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Cintas, P. Metrics: allow more gradual progress. Nature 490, 343 (2012) doi:10.1038/490343c

Download citation


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.