Algorithmic science evaluation and power structure: the discourse on strategic citation and 'citation cartels'

J. Hartstein, Teresa Isigkeit and Franziska Sörgel

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Quantitative science evaluation, such as university rankings, rely on man-made algorithms and man-made databases. The modelling decisions underlying this data-driven algorithmic science evaluation are, among other things, the outcome of a specific power structure in the science system. Power relations are especially visible, when negotiated during processes of boundary work. Therefore, we use the discourse on 'citation cartels', to shed light on a specific perception of fairness in the scientific system, as well as on the actors who are in charge. While doing so, we draw analogies to the discourse on search engine optimization.

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