Letter: As easy as M. N. O?

March 22, 2002

Andy Smith and Mike Eysenck's study of citation counts in psychology departments is problematic (Letters, THES , March 1). The citations Smith and Eysenck sent me to check assumed that researchers entered in the 1996 research assessment exercise all came from psychology departments. This was not the case. We collaborate with other research-active psychologists in other departments across the university.

Staff were also being incorrectly entered in the citation counts because not all combinations of initials were used and/or known. For instance, the researchers listed my citations under "M. D. Griffiths" but not "M. Griffiths". Another of my colleagues was entered only using their first initial (M.) but always publishes under their full initials (M. N. O.). Other colleagues who have names such as Bill (William) were not consistent on their publications and had a variety of initials.

Finally, why were 1996 RAE scores correlated with 1998 data? The staff in one unit can grow and/or change considerably in a short time if it is relatively new and developing fast (as was the case with our unit).

Mark Griffiths
Psychology division
Nottingham Trent University

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