HOW does one measure the accomplishments of a scientist? Number of publications? Number of citations to those publications? Perhaps number of grants obtained over a lifetime of NSF applications, revisions, and resubmittals—pleadings with program officers and budgetary cutbacks notwithstanding? Some university presidents have, of late, increasingly called for a “business model approach” in which total “grant dollars” is the primary metric. A push toward a relatively objective quantifiable means of evaluating academic scientists is entirely understandable, but these tools have a number of limitations. Close to home, impact factor measures have not been kind to herpetologists; inexplicably, Copeia scores < 1.0. If one publishes primarily in “herp” journals, rather than, for example, biomedical or microbiology outlets, the widely used “H” index derived by citation indices, is comparatively low. Though quantifiable metrics such as these are widely used in academic...

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