Metrics and epistemic injustice

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Title: Metrics and epistemic injustice
Authors: Ma, Lai
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Date: 10-May-2022
Online since: 2022-07-11T11:33:15Z
Abstract: Purpose: This paper examines the socio-political affordances of metrics in research evaluation and the consequences of epistemic injustice in research practices and recorded knowledge. Design/methodology/approach: First, the use of metrics is examined as a mechanism that promotes competition and social acceleration. Second, it is argued that the use of metrics in a competitive research culture reproduces systemic inequalities and leads to epistemic injustice. The conceptual analysis draws on works of Hartmut Rosa and Miranda Fricker, amongst others. Findings: The use of metrics is largely driven by competition such as university rankings and league tables. Not only that metrics are not designed to enrich academic and research culture, they also suppress the visibility and credibility of works by minorities. As such, metrics perpetuate epistemic injustice in knowledge practices; at the same time, the reliability of metrics for bibliometric and scientometric studies is put into question. Social implications: As metrics leverage who can speak and who will be heard, epistemic injustice is reflected in recorded knowledge and what we consider to be information. Originality/value: This paper contributes to the discussion of metrics beyond bibliometric studies and research evaluation. It argues that metrics-induced competition is antithetical to equality and diversity in research practices.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Emerald
Journal: Journal of Documentation
Volume: 78
Issue: 7
Start page: 392
End page: 404
Copyright (published version): 2022 The Author
Keywords: Epistemic injusticeInformationKnowledge productionResponsible metricsUniversity rankingsCompetition
DOI: 10.1108/jd-12-2021-0240
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
ISSN: 0022-0418
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License:
Appears in Collections:Information and Communication Studies Research Collection

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