The Drunk, the Keys, and the Streetlamp

Scholarly Metrics Under the Microscope

More on the title of the post later…

The book I want to talk about is Scholarly Metrics Under the Microscope: From Citation Analysis to Academic Auditing, edited by Blaise Cronin and Cassidy R. Sugimoto — published by ITI this week on behalf of the Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T).

This remarkable new volume is the result of a superb editorial collaboration by Cronin and Sugimoto (says Bryans). Of course, having known and worked with Blaise for more than 15 years (first on a monograph, The Web of Knowledge, and for many years thereafter on ARIST) I shouldn’t be too surprised. His co-editor Cassidy, it turns out, is a force to be reckoned with in her own right. (Here we are at the recent ASIS&T meeting, in Seattle, where I was obviously smitten.)

So I’d like to say, and hope you will join me in saying, Congratulations, Blaise and Cassidy on your outstanding achievement. (From where I sit you made it look easy, which should give you both a good laugh.)

“But…?” you, Dear Reader, ask (assuming you haven’t clicked on any of the informative links yet), “What is this nearly 1000-page beast of a book all about?” From Professor Ralph Schroeder of the Oxford Internet Institute comes this useful description:

“Cronin and Sugimoto present an excellent overview of scholarly metrics in this wide-ranging collection of essays from many disciplinary and critical perspectives–both recent as well as those that have shaped the field from the start.”

Prof. Schroeder goes on to describe the book as “an indispensable volume for anyone who is concerned with measuring the impact of knowledge in today’s digital world, including scholars, publishers, information scientists, and research policymakers.”

Meantime, Julia Lane of the American Institutes for Research has opined that “Anyone interested in the current uses (and abuses) of bibliometrics should have this on her bookshelf, and it should be required reading for those who seek to use bibliometrics to evaluate research funding.”

If you’re interested in knowing more, we’ve posted an easy download featuring advance praise, the Table of Contents, the Introduction, and brief biographies of editors Cronin and Sugimoto.

(Read the Introduction if you want the story behind the blog post title.)

For a limited time, Scholarly Metrics Under the Microscope remains available at a special preorder price exclusively from the ITI bookstore: $115/copy as opposed to the $149.50 list. (ASIS&T members get an even bigger break.)

But don’t delay — the regular pricing will kick in as soon as our drunkard remembers where he put the #$%@ keys.


About John Bryans

John B. Bryans is Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of the book publishing divisions of Information Today, Inc. (ITI) and its sister company, Plexus Publishing, Inc. Since 1979 John has worked in book publishing as an editor, book packager, and publisher. He began his career in the world of New York mass-market publishing, specializing in historical fiction and popular nonfiction before moving into technology publishing in the late 1980s. In 1995, at Online Inc., he launched CyberAge Books—a popular line of titles for online searchers, librarians, and business information professionals. In 1998 ITI acquired CyberAge Books and John joined the ITI staff on the edge of the Pine Barrens in rural southern New Jersey. Currently, he acquires and edits books and ebooks in diverse genres including library and information science and technology, cyberculture, education and careers in the information professions, educational technology, knowledge management, networking and customer engagement, indexing, and clinical research, and—regionally for southern New Jersey—mystery and suspense, history, nature and the environment. In 2001 he acquired and published Boardwalk Empire by Nelson Johnson, which inspired an Emmy-winning dramatic series on HBO and became the publisher's first New York Times bestseller.