Reputation: New Ways of Building, Showcasing and Measuring Scholarly Reputation in the Digital Age

Prof. Dr. David Nicholas
CIBER Research Ltd., Newbury

Play (32 min)

The main currency for the scholar is not power, as it is for the politician, or wealth, as it is for the businessman, but reputation. However, reputation has for a very long time mainly been built around just one scholarly activity (research), one output of that activity (publication in high-impact factor journals) and on one measurement of that output (citations). If anything, the practice has become more endemic in a highly competitive, transparent, global digital environment. Such a narrow view of reputation marginalises all the other scholarly activities and skews scholarship, but it has served publishers well, although it looks like it’s all about to-change. Open Science 2.0 disruptive technologies are giving rise to new ways of working, new ‘actors’, new formats for conducting/disseminating scholarship and more comprehensive ways of measuring reputation. This paper provides the highlights of research conducted for the European Commission into how emerging reputation mechanisms and platforms are transforming the scholarly scene.