The idea that research assessment must be done using “simple and objective” methods is increasingly prevalent today. The “simple and objective” methods are broadly interpreted as bibliometrics, that is, citation data and the statistics derived from them. There is a belief that citation statistics are inherently more accurate because they substitute simple numbers for complex judgments, and hence overcome the possible subjectivity of peer review. But this belief is unfounded.
Report from the International Mathematical Union (IMU) in cooperation with the International Council of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM) and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS):