Rebecca Bryant, Charles Watkinson, and Rebecca Welzenbach, writing for the Scholarly Kitchen on a science-humanities gap in metadata retrieval:
The ability to harvest accurate and mostly complete metadata for researchers in STEM disciplines is quite good in all of these examples. However, metadata harvesting from any of these sources provides disappointing results for humanities and some social science scholars. When we look at a researcher’s profile, we may notice that a book (or more than one) is missing.
They’re writing about the brave new world of RIM. Short for “Research Information Management,” RIM software is mainly used by universities and other research entities to measure and predict scholars’ productivity.
Point taken: The humanities, and social science book disciplines too, have some metadata problems. But I’m not sure we want to oil the metric gears, given the way that quantified measures of “impact” have distorted scholars’ truth-seeking commitments for decades. Worse still is the fact that the major players in the RIM market are Elsevier (Pure) and Springer Nature parent Holtzbrinck (Elements). In both cases, the publishing oligopolists are harvesting academics’ behavior and re-selling them as prediction products—on top of their windfall subscription-and-APC profits.
Yes, metadata resiliency is a good thing. But let’s not inadvertently build the road to surveillance publishing.