Computational Social Science Institute

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Lecture series generously sponsored by Yahoo!

Videos of some CSSI seminars are available  here

Fall 2013

The Numbers Race: Academic Excellence and Bibliometric Tools.
Friday, October 25, 2013 • 12:00PM–2:00PM • Lunch provided
Computer Science Bulding, Room 150/151

Abstract:  In contrast with the image of bibliometrics as a unified and coherent whole, Didier Torny identifies three major components of information infrastructures that support the evaluation of scientific research: algorithms, datasets, and bibliometric tools. Tracing the genesis and success of some of these components from 1960 to the present, Torny regards several configurations that differentially articulate the position of dataset producers, the target of algorithms, and the form of bibliometric tools. This history shows repeated encounters between bibliometrics and webometrics and highlights the fact that any assessment is necessarily based on a definition of relevant peers.

Bio:  Didier Torny heads the RITME research unit of INRA, France’s National Institute of Agronomic Research. As a sociologist of scientific knowledge, Torny’s newest work examines research evaluation, studying the making, use, and critique of evaluation tools and norms. He has published extensively on private and public normative action relating to health risks, such as norms that attempt to impose human or animal health as a legitimate objective for business regulation. His research is based on a comparative approach of cases from the arenas of nutrition, food safety, animal health, and safety of health products as a series of pertinent examples by which one comes to grips with the mechanisms used in collective risk management.