Issue 41: Metrics
Dear Fellow Sociologists,
The European Sociological Association has published the EUROPEAN SOCIOLOGIST for almost 25 years. What first started, in the mid-1990s, as black and white print leaflet sent to ESA members only, soon developed into ESA’s central source of information and communication. The beginning of the current decade saw a relaunch of the EUROPEAN SOCIOLOGIST under the editorship of Peter Holley. For five years, Peter shaped the journal’s design and content, turning it into a professional looking medium and opening it to ‘viewpoints’ and current societal debates. As new editor of the EUROPEAN SOCIOLOGIST I wish to thank Peter for his splendid work. While he is this term’s co-coordinator of RN15, my own path went the other way: After six years on board of RN02, most ESA members now know me as ESA’s Executive Coordinator and General Secretary, and this year marks the beginning of my editorship of the EUROPEAN SOCIOLOGIST (more about me and my plans in the ESA Office Communiqué under the section FROM ESA).
It is time for the next big step for the EUROPEAN SOCIOLOGIST: Forty issues were published in print or PDF – and now starting with this very issue, the journal goes online on its own website. The EUROPEAN SOCIOLOGIST is an open access e-journal decidedly not restricted to ESA members only. In this sense, it echoes the aim and scope of the ESA conferences. Both are an open platform for exchange among sociologists in Europe and beyond. As an ESA member you still get a special treat though: You can log in to this website and comment on articles (your identifiers are the same as for the ESA website). I very much hope you will make active use of this function.
Each issue will feature a specific topic under DISCUSSION. This time, five contributions discuss the role and ramifications of metrics for our discipline. Pierre Nocerino (FR), Kateřina Cidlinská (CZ), John Holmwood (UK) and Marta Soler (ES) point to the inadequacy of quantifying our work and the frustration that goes with it. But let us not despair: As Howard S. Becker (US) reminds us in the interview with him also in this issue “Is everything really so unchangeable? […] The System is not so all-powerful if we relax the demands we make on it.” He is turning 90 on April 18, so he should know!
Dr. Dagmar Danko, Editor of the EUROPEAN SOCIOLOGIST