Yves Gingras: The transformation of the scientific paper: from knowledge to an accounting unit

Mon, 06/05/2017 - 13:00 to 14:00
Life Science Building, 3314 - UCLA

At its origins in the mid-17th century, the scientific paper was a kind of "unit of knowledge" which accrues symbolic capital to its author in exchange of making that knowledge public. Since the 1990s, with the rise of bibliometric evaluation, the paper has been inadvertently transformed into an accounting unit. Far from being trivial this change help explain many recent phenomena like the multiplication of "metrix", including so-called "alt-metrix",  the multiplication of predatory journals and the growth of published "erratum" and frauds. The presentation will recall the history of that transformation focusing on the turning points of the 1970s and 2000s.


Yves Gingras has been a professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) since 1986. He was initially appointed to the Department of Sociology, then to the Department of History, where he has been teaching since 1989. In 1997, Gingras co-founded the Observatoire des sciences et des technologies, where he currently holds the position of scientific director. The OST is an organisation devoted to “measuring” science, technology and innovation and affiliated with the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur la science et la technologie (CIRST).           
Lastest books: Gingras Y., Bibliometrics and Research Evaluation, Uses and Abuses, MIT Press, 2016 Cover of the book: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/bibliometrics-and-research-evaluation and Science and Religion: An Impossible Dialogue, Polity Press, 2017.

This event is sponsored by the EpiDaPo Laboratory, a collaboration of UCLA and CNRS.

Contact organizer: dcartron@ucla.edu  / Contact speaker: gingras.yves@uqam.ca