Open data to evaluate academic researchers: an experiment with the Italian Scientific Habilitation

Angelo Di Iorio, Silvio Peroni, Francesco Poggi

The need for scholarly open data is ever increasing. While there are large repositories of open access articles and free publication indexes, there are still a few examples of free citation networks and their coverage is partial. One of the results is that most of the evaluation processes based on citation counts rely on commercial citation databases. Things are changing under the pressure of the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC), whose goal is to campaign for scholarly publishers to make their citations as totally open. This paper investigates the growth of open citations with an experiment on the Italian Scientific Habilitation, the National process for University Professor qualification which instead uses data from commercial indexes. We simulated the procedure by only using open data and explored similarities and differences with the official results. The outcomes of the experiment show that the amount of open citation data currently available is not yet enough for obtaining similar results.

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