Postmodern Research Evaluation? | 2 of ?

First, let me say where I am coming from and what I mean by ‘postmodern’. I’m working from Lyotard’s simple “definition” of the term: “incredulity toward metanarratives” (from the introduction to The Postmodern Condition). One interesting question that arises from this definition is the scope of this incredulity — what counts, in other words, as a metanarrative?

Lyotard also distinguishes between what he calls ‘grand’ narratives and ‘little stories’ (les petits r├ęcits). Importantly, either a grand narrative or a little story can make the ‘meta’ move, which basically consists in telling a story about stories (where ‘story’ is understood broadly). Put differently, it is not the ‘meta’ toward which the postmodern reacts with incredulity. It is, rather, the totalizing character of the grand narrative that evinces doubt. By its very nature, the claim to have achieved certainty, to have told the whole story, undermines itself — at least from the postmodern perspective.

Of course, the grand narrative is always at pains to seek legitmation from outside itself, to demand recognition, to assert its own justice. Often, this takes the form of appeal to consensus — especially to a consensus of experts and authorities. The irony of the little stories is that they legitimate themselves precisely in not seeking hegemony over all the other stories. Not seeking jurisdiction over the whole, the little stories have the status — a venerable one — of ‘fables’. The little stories are told. We are told to accept the grand narrative.

Post 1 of ?

Altmetrics for “What Is Interdisciplinary Communication?”

Here is a link to the Altmetric Report for my recently published article “What Is Interdisciplinary Communication? Reflections on the Very Idea of Disciplinary Integration,” Synthese 190 (11): 1865-1879. DOI:10.1007/s11229-012-0179-7. There is also a preprint of the article available here.

Highlights of the Altmetric Report:

Compared to all articles in Synthese

So far Altmetric has tracked 78 articles from this journal. They typically receive a little less attention than average, with a mean score of 2.7 vs the global average of 3.6. This article has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers. It’s actually the highest scoring article in this journal that we’ve seen so far.

In the
99%ile
Ranks
1st
All articles of a similar age

Older articles will score higher simply because they’ve had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this score to the 63,346 tracked articles that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any journal. This article has done particularly well, scoring higher than 94% of its contemporaries.

In the
94%ile
Other articles of a similar age in Synthese

We’re also able to compare this article to 7 articles from the same journal and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This article has scored higher than all of them.

In the
99%ile
Ranks
1st
All articles

More generally, Altmetric has tracked 1,275,993 articles across all journals so far. Compared to these this article has done particularly well and is in the 96th percentile: it’s in the top 5% of all articles ever tracked by Altmetric.

In the
96%ile

Percentiles and ranks can obviously change with new publications. I also wonder whether one’s Altmetric score is not actually more a measure of one’s social media influence than it is a measure of the buzz surrounding an article — or maybe the two reduce to the same thing. But I sure like the sound of a number 1 ranking!