Organisation - October 8, 2009

Letters to the editor - Resource 4

DO YOU HAVE AN OPINION? Mail your reaction to resource@wur.nl

QUALITY
In Resource 3(4) the quality scores assigned by external review panels are related to citation scores and impact factors. The article ignores the fact that a number of the international review panels have expressed their doubts about the new approach Wageningen has taken regarding citation figures.  If you could just determine quality by looking at the citation scores and the impact factor of journals, you wouldn't need the external review panels at all. There has been a lot of discussion about bibliometric surveys, and internationally too the obsession with impact figures, facilitated by the owners of ISI, has come under considerable criticism. The general message of many analyses is that this is a useful tool for academic managers but it is a bad thing for academic studies in the long run. This discussion is not really reflected in Resource.
Kees Jansen, Technology and Agrarian Development Group
NEW RESOURCE
Previously, in this case a summer ago, Resource used to come out once a week. It was a paper for Wageningen UR students and staff rather than a glossy advertising folder. The paper was close to home, as they say, for students and staff. You could take the paper home to your parents and say: 'Look Mum and Dad, this is Wageningen'. It is a shame that the editors have decided to give much less room to the calendar of activities and internal news in the revamped Resource. It was precisely those sections that were the main reason for reading Resource. Hundreds of students put in several thousand hours each week in organizing activities for students while the Wageningen UR paper prefers promoting Cinemec for free to reporting on these activities.
Jan Joris Midavaine, fifth-year student at VHL 
REACTION
It is a pity you no longer agree with what Resource is doing. You describe the paper as a glossy advertising folder. It is true that the paper looks more polished. In the previous version of the paper we accepted all announcements by student clubs and societies without further ado, but research showed readers did not appreciate those pages. For that reason we decided to have an agenda at the back based on a stringent selection by the editors.
As students and staff do indeed need to be able to announce their activities, we have set up an agenda for that purpose on the website. We have not cut back on anything else. We are producing more articles than before the summer. Fewer in print, but all the more on resource.wur.nl. You can show that site to your parents as well.
Gaby van Caulil, chief editor of Resource
CORRECTIONS
The curator of the botanical gardens in Wageningen, Wilbert Hetterscheid, and his two employees have not been removed from office as was stated in Resource 3 (4). Their jobs have been abolished, as a result of which they are candidates for re-employment.
In Resource 3 (4) there was a list headed 'Also good', with strong Wageningen chair groups, next to the article on the assessment of research schools. Toxicology and Crop & Weed Ecology were wrongly excluded from that list. A new, complete list of sub‑top chair groups (with explanatory notes) has been published on www.resource.wur.nl.

Re:act