Why are the most influential books in Australian sociology not necessarily the most highly cited ones?

Jochen Gläser*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The vote by TASA members on the 'Most Influential Book in Australian Sociology' (MIBAS) provides an opportunity to compare quantitative indicators based on citations with the peer review represented by the MIBAS votes. While it is generally agreed that citations are only a partial indicator of such a complex phenomenon as quality, citations are regarded as a reflection of a publication's, author's or research group's 'impact' or influence. This assumption is explored by applying several interpretations and operationalizations of the concept of 'influence', by discussing their validity, and by comparing the respective citation rankings to the MIBAS poll. The major lessons of the comparison are that citation-based indicators should not be applied in diachronic comparisons, for evaluating publications on nationally specific topics, or in fields in which books are an important part of the research output.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)261-282
    Number of pages22
    JournalJournal of Sociology
    Volume40
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2004

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