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ࡱ> 7 abjbjUU a7|7| 8lvvvv8, D&ZL"6 $ A-i"AvvnRv8N $w>3L0vvvvCYBERNATING THE ACADEME: CENTRALIZATION OF SCIENCE ASSESSMENT AS HEGEMONY, AN AFRICAN ALTERNATIVE Introduction The emergence of internationalization of capital as well as new means of production and global decline in national growth have led to a gradual evaporation of economic and political conditions which supported the Keynesian welfare state, with ingrained possibility for reforms and redistributive justice (Teeple, 1995). Since the late 1970s, liberal democracy has entered into a serious crisis ongoing as a result of the impact of a major ideological and political superstructure, namely neoliberalism. According to Schiller, (1989), the outcomes of this reconfiguration include the erasure of public spaces, the creation of panoptic and surveillance structures to control human society, with a consequence for increased competitiveness and capital accumulation. One of the major evidences of the neoliberal politics manifests in the pattern of use and exploitation of technologies. The potential for IT to increase competitiveness cannot be ignored within capitalist dynamics. It is widely recognized that IT has contributed immensely in the increasing dissolution of the complexity of the social world, but the benefits accrue mainly to the developed countries, while the deficits go to those countries that are not capable of competing in the new global system of consumption (Gandy, 1993). Educational and research institutions were seen before the emergence of neoliberalism as public spaces, which served public interests. But there is now a shift from this fact - characterized by market discourse, private instead of public funding, and various forms of tied market financing. The university has been compelled to go to the market place to look for funds just as business outfits do as well as to sell its research products (Kachur, 1995). There is also a counter movement among business, the state and the university. The governments in many countries want the universities to concentrate on the training of manpower required to run day-to-day activities, while considering research as an activity that could obtain anywhere (Nwagwu, 2006). Gibbons (1996) has described this new trend in research in which knowledge is produced in the industries as well as the university. There is an increased awareness of public contestation and controversy of science facing a hostile environment of multiple publics and plural institutions, such as the mass media and NGOs, which also have their own agendas (Nowotny et al. 2001). According to Nowotny et al. science is moving from a culture of autonomy to a regime of greater public accountability, a development which is spurred by the emergence of the agora: the new public space where science and society, the market and politics, co-mingle. We are thus seeing parallel trajectories in business and science; business is no longer just business just as science is no longer just science. Both spheres have been heavily politicized. A major outcome of this development is the increasing dedifferentiation of the academe manifest in the surveillance mechanisms that are installed to monitor and surveil the researchers productivity and performance. New configurations of modern information technologies have provided this mechanism. In this paper, we examine the fact that IT has facilitated the globalisation, centralization and homogenization of performance criteria for scholarly assessment, a development we argue benefits the developed regions of the world that already have a competitive advantage in the use of the technologies. A central science evaluation infrastructure negates the fact that inequality is part of human life on earth, and therefore distracts the expectation that humans try to solve their problems using resources available to them. In this regime, IT exploitation contributes in widening the science divide, an opinion that can be easily explained by the social metaphor of cybernetics theory. Cybernetics: As short detour Norbert Weiner described cybernetics as characterized by a collection of technologies that are used in information gathering, processing, and transmitting in order to empower the technology user (Weiner 1954). Using weapon systems for his illustration, Weiner showed that cybernetics is more about command and control of information about the target and current state of the weapon itself in the environment. Technology constitutes the mechanisms that could sense both environmental conditions and the state of the weapon to provide this information, which would then be collated and transmitted to either an automatic device or a human being charged with destroying enemy personnel. A cybernetic system has four components namely: there must be something to be controlled, and this could be a machine, a weapon, or even another human being. The nature of the thing being controlled is unimportant because theoretically, cybernetic systems can be incorporated into anything that operates on the environment if information exchange mechanisms can be attached. In addition to having an output device, there must also be a central control unit (CCU) responsible for directing the actions of the system. There also needs to be sensing devices that gather the requisite information and finally, there needs to be a device capable of transmitting information to and fro. In 1961 Weiner suggested the modern ultra-rapid computing machine was in principle an ideal central nervous system to an apparatus for automatic control. There is an endless reference eulogising the benefits that information technology bestows on human society. From government to industry and the academe, IT is seen a panacea for efficiency in the workplace. Morris (1995) has suggested that in the workplace, information technology is about democratisation, enhanced participation, and freedom. But from the theory of cybernetics, digital technologies cannot be considered neutral devices; they have turned out to be very suitable for certain types of control. Hence, we need to start developing the potential usefulness of theorising IT around metaphors of cybernetic technology to allow us reconceptualise information technologies through some critical spectacle. After all, information technologies may be inherently undemocratic because IT is about centralisation of control. People have focused exclusively on the cybernetic transfer mechanisms of IT and not on the information itself. The emphasis has been on speed of information transfer, without recourse to the fact that speed only does not qualify the role and suitability of information technology. But we want to deliberately distract our fixation from the transfer mechanisms of technology and rather focus on the implication of cybernation on information itself. This new dimension is strengthened by observations that the implementation of cybernetic systems has rendered middle management simply no longer needed to assist the upper level management. Management recognise and advocate this development because it would seem to yield a better form of control. We can describe a metaphor of social cybernetics - when the devices, which operate on the environment are human beings who have ideas of their own, and who need to be surveilled for the emergence of a powerful control. To achieve this, the social cybernetic system must also be able to mobilise systems of reward and punishment so that instead of seeking information on the condition of the instrument, a social cybernetic system seeks information on compliance. Let u now fit this metaphor into the academic world. In the academe, the object being surveiled is the scholar, the information under surveillance is scholarly publication and patent, the central control unit (CCU) responsible for directing the actions of the system is the centralized warehouse of scientific papers expected to represent the average of global scientific evidence. Surveillance and panopticism arise from the skewed selection and characterization of sources to be included in the warehouse based on, though well defined but undemocratic criteria, which benefit the technology-rich part of the world. The reward is a generalized visibility index of world science achieved through ranking of scientists, their institutions and countries. We examine next the trend in the surveillance of the academe, and the breakthrough achieved therein through IT. Cybernating the academe through scholarly ranking History is fraught with efforts to mount surveillance on scholarly output in order to rank scholars, and this was envisaged to be achievable through publication counts. For most research and academic institutions in the world today, publication count has become a critical method of ranking scholars for ascension into tenured faculty roles. Publications are considered necessary for tenure, for advancement, and for many of the other rewards available as part of academic life. Beyond counting publications, there is the emergence of performance indicators in which the impact of papers is measured by assigning an impact factor, which shows the quality of the article, and by implication the quality of the authors scholarship. Issues around this phenomenon are captured under the popular citation analysis (CA). Citation analysis involves the accumulation, counting and interpretation of bibliographic references in order to identify significant information sources, individuals and institutions (Mete and Deschmukh 1996). CA posits that by recognizing that those who use information determine its value, a better way to measure the quality of the work could be by measuring the impact it makes on the community at large. Alternative definitions have associated citation analysis more with illuminating the relationship between different authors and their work (Sandison 1989). Today, CA has been extended far beyond its initial use to include categorising and creating journal hierarchy, map the sciences by identifying the cutting edge or research front (de Solla Price, 1965) and even to separate the harder rigorous sciences, like high energy physics, from the softer sciences - like sociology (Small and Crane, 1979). It has also been used to rank scholarly output. For example, it has been used to rank university departments (Cox and Catt, 1977; Rushton and Endler, 1977; Howard, Cole and Maxwell, 1987), the scholarly output of countries (Garfield, 1993), and scholars (Cole and Maxwell, 1989; Klein and Bloom, 1992). CA processing is very tedious, but new technologies have eased the execution of the task. CA itself is not a bad idea as there should be a means of assessing quality of production. Given the variety of human communities, their variety of human and natural resources, in addition to their attendant peculiar challenges, CA may be useful within localized and relatively homogenous contexts, and not necessarily on a global scale. This is because centralized CA will tell us the obvious: scientific activities and performance in the developing regions are below expectation. This information is not only useless to the development of science in the developing countries; it tends to stamp their place in the world of knowledge as almost irrelevant. The developing regions rather need to know exactly the level of their science as a basis for further development. It matters who performs better. But it matters most how each and everyone is performing. Notwithstanding, centralised viewpoint of CA has swept across the science landscape informing a certain unconvincing notion that, Scientific research is a universal activity (van-Raan 2005). The global research arena is thus assumed to be uniform and homogenous in terms of those paraphernalia that researchers mobilize to develop knowledge. Hence, research activities of a scientist in war torn Sudan can be compared with those of scientists in the USA. What emerges is rather a system of academic surveillance with the potential for very deep hegemonic control over scholarly discourse such that knowledge produced in some regions are not reckoned with whereas the knowledge in others are prominent on a global scale. In short, we see the potential to develop a cybernetic panopticon where some scholars can be made perfectly visible while others are eclipsed. CA is usually based on citation indexes (CI), a facility powered by the versatility of IT. The surveillance nature of CA can be linked to three major factors related to the developmental history of CI in the United States in the 1950's. The first was the need to document and publish through scientific journal literature the huge government expenditure in the World War II and its impact. The second was the growing dissatisfaction with the capacity of subject indexing to meet the needs of the active researcher because of its excessive lag times in adding materials to the indexes. Finally, there was the expectation that with automation, there could be a success in the development of citation indexing which could aid monitoring the production and use of scientific literature. We can tease out from these factors some capitalist and market drivers aimed at easing the administrators dilemma, namely the push for administrative measures of performance and productivity, a necessary activity which has led to some compromise of the primary purpose of research. The purpose of research A crucial question relates to the reason for conducting research. Originally, research is primarily conducted because a scientist wishes to contribute knowledge to the solution of human problems. The scientist is therefore most likely to start or even focus on problems in the researchers local environment using capabilities and resources available and accessible to the researcher. Later is the issue of professionalisation of science, which requires that scientists publish in order to showcase their skills in the research information marketplace as well as institutionalization of science in which researching is practiced as profession. While the later two points subsist and even taking preeminence, they ought not to subsume the original motive for researching. African scientists, for instance, focus on agriculture, clinical medicine and epidemiology, areas that obviously call for reinforced effort (Tijssen forthcoming). With the ever-present problems of hunger and malnutrition, malaria and HIV/AIDS as well as non-communicable diseases, there is a need for researches that address food production and health. In the same vein, the developed countries have conquered basic problems of food and hunger and now dwell on research activities that do not necessarily address the needs of developing countries. For instance, research focused on evolution of fashion and obesity in dogs, among others, can be spotted in the developed countries. Even very important areas of knowledge such as nanotechnology, which may hold great benefit for the whole world, may not be of primary interest to the needs of researchers in Africa. Research in a resource constrained region like Africa is expected to be small-scale in capacity, addressing appropriate therapies; culturally sensitive issues probably presented using culturally sensitive methodologies. The ecological bias of research activities also has great influence on other aspects of research activities and publications. For instance, it is not expected that researchers will read research papers that do not address their needs. If a research article focuses on perceptions about malaria among a small people in Nigeria, say, and is published in Netherlands where malaria is absent and where malaria research is carried only in sympathy with the health needs of those in risk regions, the likelihood that such an article will be read and or cited will be slim. The readership of such materials will be constituted of citizens of malaria risk countries resident in the Netherlands or developing countries scholars who have one interest or other on malaria. In the same vein, there might not be journals in Africa that would accommodate papers that focus on specific developed countries problems or highly specialized science such as nanotechnology. When African journals publish such papers, the reasons might be the pride of the probability that such publications might boost the images of their journals. In all cases, anyway, such papers might be serving the purpose of completing the number of papers required to make a journal edition. The question of the purpose of research is also expected to influence the choice of journals through which researchers publish their research results. Except when the purpose of research is other than problem solving, scientists would want their research outputs to influence others and contribute to what others know and do. They would therefore want to publish their research findings where they will be used by prospective target. These factors have implications for the appropriateness and even validity of any centralized indexing services of any database, which negates this ecological feature of research. Apart from being incomplete due to economic, political and other reasons, globally centralized databases are not at all representative of the efforts of scholars to meet the needs of their societies. Moreover, human problems are not homogenous universally just as human skills and access to resources are also differentiated. Knowledge itself is ethnographic in its structure such that local knowledge in Africa is not the same as local knowledge in India just as local knowledge in America cannot be considered local in Africa. This trajectory of opinion begins to show that what seems to be happening in centralised science evaluation is a situation whereby what could be considered local science in the West is being universally used as a criterion to assess scientific performance universally. This is intellectual hegemony, and the tool for its arrogation is information and communication technologies. In many countries such as Nigeria, a significant fraction of research is done within the private sector, or by NGOs and international donor agencies, run mainly by serving or retired academics or civil servants and other specialists, although there is yet no formal characterization of evidences of their research outputs. By the nature of their research activities, NGOs focus mainly on action studies adopting qualitative research methods. When surveys are conducted the research focuses on serve the purpose of providing baseline knowledge, which they require for the intervention. The nature of these researches influences the pattern of their dissemination; the dissemination might be directed at the communities where the data were collected from or to other population groups that might benefit or contribute to the solution of the problem at hand. In some cases, reports whose content range from primary result generated in the field to mere narrative reports of what has been done as well as detailed accounting of money spent on the research are required by the funding agencies. It is only on a few occasions, the results of these researches may be published in journals- mainly when the researcher is still a serving academic and would require the publications for assessment purposes. Hence, major research activities of the non-university/research institutions do not lend themselves to publications in learned journals. This observation is corroborated by Gailliard (1996) who has established that 65% of published outputs of research in Africa come from the universities who also have the highest skilled personnel. Since 1665, when the first journal was born in France, many developed countries governments have been sponsoring journals through which their research are expressed, in addition to those sponsored by other stakeholders. They also show great interest and invest heavily in the activities of their researchers. In some developing countries, such as South Africa, there exist structures erected by the government both to encourage and monitor research production and performance. There exist a management information system referred to as the Higher Education Management Information System (HEMIS) in which funding is based on publication rate and the postgraduate graduation rate (DeBeer 2003). Such structures are not only non-existent in Nigeria and many other developing countries of Africa; where there is also no expression of consciousness that the activities of the universities and research institutions should go beyond training of manpower required for the national labour force in the public and private sectors. This standpoint of the government is reflected in government pattern of educational funding, in which priority is given to salaries and minimal maintenance, and very little to research. In Nigeria, there exists a National Science Technology Policy, which recognizes research as a critical requirement for planning and decision-making but omits completely issues relating to the evidences of the researches. Gaillard (1996) has observed that research structures installed in the independence years have collapsed in many African countries and this adds to the poor educational funding and poor working conditions of researchers in the continent, issues that have been discussed extensively in the literature (Onyeonoru 1992). These circumstances have implications for quality, quantity and type of research that researchers undertake. It also has further implications that scientists go about publishing the results of their endeavours through means that are accessible and available to them. Professional associations fund many journals in Africa, a factor that could be largely linked with the applied nature of the research contents products that receive less citation in the literature. For reasons associated with funding, most virile professional associations are often the multidisciplinary ones, which have a larger membership and are also capable of sourcing for required funds (Nwagwu, 2005). Much of CA is based on publications in English Language. English Language is one of the over 6000 languages in use in the world today, which provide medium for knowledge dissemination. In 1995, English was the second most common language next to Chinese. By 2050, English is envisaged to be the fourth most common language while Bengali, Tamil and Malay are the fastest growing languages (Graddol, 2004). The need to make the computer usable in as many human languages as possible is likely going to worsen the situation for English language because these efforts will contribute in the development of many local languages. In Nigeria, although there is no national project directed at this need, there are several pockets of activities that show that individuals and organisations are addressing the question of making Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo computer-accessible (Adegbola, 2004). This development notwithstanding, the indexed knowledge of worlds science and technology continues to be driven by English language, leaving out the bulk of knowledge developed in other languages. It becomes very unprofitable to neglect what could be considered the greater part of human knowledge because those knowledge developed in local languages are most likely to represent the most appropriate evidence of research endeavour of human communities. In many African countries, for instance, there exist journals that have been produced since the 1960s in local languages  Source: Graddol, D. The Future of Language Science (2004) 27 February 2004; Vol. 303. no. 5662, pp. 1329 1331. but are not indexed in any of the internationally acclaimed indexes. There are many other locale sensitive issues that do not favour the use of centralized CA as evaluation tool for African researchers. A common observation today is that many journals source their materials through papers presented in conferences and other academic meetings. These papers are then gathered together after the presenters have made necessary corrections arising from the comment of colleagues in the conference. Conference proceedings in Nigeria hardly ever transform to journal resources. Already the journals are very few in number comparison with the number of scientists and research institutions that exist. The outcomes of conferences are sometimes merely compiled as proceedings. Furthermore, do the governments and policy makers in public and private institutions read journals? Apart from journals being inaccessible, the time required to read and integrate issues contained in journals as into policies is usually not available to such persons. All the same they use information. In Nigeria, the major sources of information for policy makers continue to be government documents, standing orders, and newspapers, among others. It is upon the basis of these sources that decisions affecting the whole people in the country are based. However, international indexing databases do not include such information sources, making them inherently incongruent for global science assessment. The inherent incongruence of central evaluation methods CA is IT-driven. Based on non-universalisable set of criteria, a collection of journals is organized in large databases, and manipulated using metric processes to yield information about the authors and the research publications in the databases. Although efforts at developing citation analysis tools dated beyond the emergence of information technology, the power of modern information and communication technologies has tremendous capability for the manipulation of the complex explosion that accompanies citing of published material by peers. Many people have criticized citation analysis based on the unsuitability of its quantitative base as well as the manipulability of the tool to achieve some discriminatory purposes. For instance greater citation visibility has been observed to be manipulable through self-citation and mentor related factors and citation clubs. Crucial questions have also been asked regarding the validity of CA since citing is a social phenomenon that might be coloured by motivational and psychological factors. The acts of selecting citable materials, the relevance and suitability of the cited materials, the need to identify with some scholars and not others are some of the biases that have been identified with citation analysis based evaluation. Furthermore, significant contributions, and especially those that challenge scholarly canons, may be partially or wholly erased from the citation record. The accuracy of citation analysis has been contested over the past twenty years, based on the assumptions about what citation counts represent, and what cannot be measured by them. It is argued that citation frequencies do not reflect browsing, borrowing and reading without citation, all of which may also influence thinking within a particular field (Ferguson and Price 1995; Mohan, 1980). Smith (1981) contends that many widely known ideas, informal and non-published sources are not cited, nor are current awareness resources (Garfield, 1972), while it has been estimated that only a third of all influences appear as citations (MacRoberts and MacRoberts 1989, 1996). However, those who make the case for the reliability of citation analysis argue for a positive correlation between citation counts and usage (Kelland and Young, 1994), although correlation is known not to imply causation. Questions are also raised about the status of value that a citation confers on an article, as it may exist for cosmetic reasons (Garfield, 1994), as introductory tools to the original work being documented (Schoonbaert and Roelants, 1996), or as self-citations (MacRoberts and MacRoberts 1996, Hamilton 1990). Other factors have been put forward which may affect the degree to which any article is cited, such as accessibility, the age of the journal (Altman and Goreman 1996) journal circulation, author reputation (Garfield 1972) and authors awareness of the literature (MacRoberts and MacRoberts 1996). There also exist sufficient counteractive opinions from those scientists who consider citation counts as reliable indicators of quality (Lindsey 1989, Smart and Felton 1981). Peritz (1992) has suggested that citations are used to make an informative point and their frequency, therefore, can be used as a legitimate, albeit rough-and-ready, indicator of merit. Beyond these are some latent but neoliberal undertones for which citation analysis could be considered very unsuitable. If there are motivational and psychological factors that muddy the waters of citation analysis, and if citation counts can be engineered, then CA might also be susceptible to larger structural and political influences. CA privileges North American and European scholarly discourse, with an evident Euro centric bias in its patterns. Otherwise how would one explicate the fact that language constitutes a barrier to selection of serials to be indexed, and yet categorical statements are being made about world science? Beyond this, what is the explanation for selecting some journals and excluding others based on criteria that could be considered inegalitarian? (Velho, 1986) observed that scientists in the colonising nations make negligible use of work emanating from peripheral nations regardless of quality. On the other hand, scientists in the colonised nations are expected to consider it a pride when they either publish in or read research articles written by coloniser countries scholars. In Nigeria, of the 121 journals that circulated in biomedicine in 1990 only four were indexed in Medline (Nwagwu, 2005). This is the experience of any African countries. Using CA to evaluate international contributions therefore institutionalises Euro centric biases by obliterating playing down on biased citation behaviour. Any CA conducted to evaluate the international impact of scholarly research will systematically devalue the contributions made by peripheral nations, a development that mirrors and supports an already existing one-way flow of information (Agarin, 2006; Wresch, 1996). No doubt there exist what could be considered most formal contributions to knowledge evident in and supported by technology mastery, CA should not be insensitive to other scientific information producers and users. A bias in favour of the conservative will give an inadequate impression about world science. Since CA does not fairly represent the entire range of contributions to the academy, using it as a way of measuring global contribution will exacerbate already existing hierarchies and ensure that the vast pool of scientific workers never gets credit for their contribution. In Africa, this observation will be very significant. There are private and public as well as mission universities just as there exist many research and development and management institutions, which carry out research, despite evidence of poor research facilities. These research products contribute in building the knowledge of the people of Africa but might be published in sources, which central infrastructures might consider of low quality. Alternatives and conclusions While information technology has facilitated the development of techniques used in assessing science, it would appear that centralized CA strategy serves many probably unintended purposes. The resulting processes have implications for surveillance as well as the creation of a high-tech panoptic state and economy developed to control researchers. The profits of this control do not go to the whole world but serve the purpose of clearly marking some countries of the world, as intellectual giants while others are mere passerby Lilliputians. The impact of this neoliberal assault on education is becoming very prominent because it has created the window that makes the universities and other educational institutions mere public spaces under the tutelage of public officials who control the resources. The productivity and performance paradox are leading to a re-imagining of the universities and schools as spaces appropriate for the valorisation of capital. As a result, universities are being colonised, both physically and intellectually, by capital, its representatives, and its ideologies. Citation indexing is a kind of  HYPERLINK "http://www.db.dk/bh/lifeboat_ko/CONCEPTS/indexing.htm" indexing in which the  HYPERLINK "http://www.db.dk/bh/Core%20Concepts%20in%20LIS/articles%20a-z/bibliographic_reference.htm" bibliographic references of documents are made searchable and refer to the documents being indexed. The cited references in a document are made part of the  HYPERLINK "http://www.db.dk/bh/lifeboat_ko/CONCEPTS/subject_access_points.htm" subject access points available for  HYPERLINK "http://www.db.dk/bh/Core%20Concepts%20in%20LIS/articles%20a-z/information_retrieval.htm" information retrieval. It is therefore a good idea; the only difficulty is in its centralization. Used within a local environment where research conditions are relatively homogenous, citation analysis might serve as a relatively objective strategy to assess performance (Bavelas, 1978) and even for a subjective evaluation of patterns of journal usage and demand (Woodfield, Morris and Jacobs, 1999). Already this consciousness is beginning to emerge gradually. With the development of Chinese Science Citation Database in 1987 as well as Scielo, a regional citation index in Latin America, the strength of centralized indexes might be on the decline while emphasis is shifting on regional, national or even subject area indexes. Although, the only\ single global index is based in the United States, there are many other indexes in the same country, which are designed to address specific subject areas. For instance, PROLA (Physical Review Online Archive) focuses on a single old journal; Science Direct, a publisher/host of many journals; Amazon.com, a bookstore; NASA Astrophysics Data System Abstract Services; Citation Bridge (US Patents), among others, want to understand the characteristics of knowledge they produce. Except probably Amazon.com, the services of most of the organizations listed here are not available for public use. Access to Thomson Scientific databases, a giant citation database that has a universal scope, is cost prohibitive and many universities in Africa cannot afford a subscription. For now, there is no identifiable citation indexing service in any country in Africa, not even at a regional level, a gap that an African Citation Index (ACI) being midwifed by the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa based in Dakar Senegal will fill. Using methods developed for mapping the journal structure, for instance, contained in aggregated journal-journal citations in Science Citation Index Leydesdorff (2005) studied Chinese Science Citation Database and concluded that science in China exhibits the characteristics of Mode 2 than its western counterparts. What is the structure of science in Africa? with the marginal representation of African research outputs in major indexes, only ACI can provide an answer to this question. REFERENCES Adegbola, O.A. 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ࡱ> 7 abjbjUU a7|7| 8lvvvv8, D&ZL"6 $ A-i"AvvnRv8N $w>3L0vvvvCYBERNATING THE ACADEME: CENTRALIZATION OF SCIENCE ASSESSMENT AS HEGEMONY, AN AFRICAN ALTERNATIVE Introduction The emergence of internationalization of capital as well as new means of production and global decline in national growth have led to a gradual evaporation of economic and political conditions which supported the Keynesian welfare state, with ingrained possibility for reforms and redistributive justice (Teeple, 1995). Since the late 1970s, liberal democracy has entered into a serious crisis ongoing as a result of the impact of a major ideological and political superstructure, namely neoliberalism. According to Schiller, (1989), the outcomes of this reconfiguration include the erasure of public spaces, the creation of panoptic and surveillance structures to control human society, with a consequence for increased competitiveness and capital accumulation. One of the major evidences of the neoliberal politics manifests in the pattern of use and exploitation of technologies. The potential for IT to increase competitiveness cannot be ignored within capitalist dynamics. It is widely recognized that IT has contributed immensely in the increasing dissolution of the complexity of the social world, but the benefits accrue mainly to the developed countries, while the deficits go to those countries that are not capable of competing in the new global system of consumption (Gandy, 1993). Educational and research institutions were seen before the emergence of neoliberalism as public spaces, which served public interests. But there is now a shift from this fact - characterized by market discourse, private instead of public funding, and various forms of tied market financing. The university has been compelled to go to the market place to look for funds just as business outfits do as well as to sell its research products (Kachur, 1995). There is also a counter movement among business, the state and the university. The governments in many countries want the universities to concentrate on the training of manpower required to run day-to-day activities, while considering research as an activity that could obtain anywhere (Nwagwu, 2006). Gibbons (1996) has described this new trend in research in which knowledge is produced in the industries as well as the university. There is an increased awareness of public contestation and controversy of science facing a hostile environment of multiple publics and plural institutions, such as the mass media and NGOs, which also have their own agendas (Nowotny et al. 2001). According to Nowotny et al. science is moving from a culture of autonomy to a regime of greater public accountability, a development which is spurred by the emergence of the agora: the new public space where science and society, the market and politics, co-mingle. We are thus seeing parallel trajectories in business and science; business is no longer just business just as science is no longer just science. Both spheres have been heavily politicized. A major outcome of this development is the increasing dedifferentiation of the academe manifest in the surveillance mechanisms that are installed to monitor and surveil the researchers productivity and performance. New configurations of modern information technologies have provided this mechanism. In this paper, we examine the fact that IT has facilitated the globalisation, centralization and homogenization of performance criteria for scholarly assessment, a development we argue benefits the developed regions of the world that already have a competitive advantage in the use of the technologies. A central science evaluation infrastructure negates the fact that inequality is part of human life on earth, and therefore distracts the expectation that humans try to solve their problems using resources available to them. In this regime, IT exploitation contributes in widening the science divide, an opinion that can be easily explained by the social metaphor of cybernetics theory. Cybernetics: As short detour Norbert Weiner described cybernetics as characterized by a collection of technologies that are used in information gathering, processing, and transmitting in order to empower the technology user (Weiner 1954). Using weapon systems for his illustration, Weiner showed that cybernetics is more about command and control of information about the target and current state of the weapon itself in the environment. Technology constitutes the mechanisms that could sense both environmental conditions and the state of the weapon to provide this information, which would then be collated and transmitted to either an automatic device or a human being charged with destroying enemy personnel. A cybernetic system has four components namely: there must be something to be controlled, and this could be a machine, a weapon, or even another human being. The nature of the thing being controlled is unimportant because theoretically, cybernetic systems can be incorporated into anything that operates on the environment if information exchange mechanisms can be attached. In addition to having an output device, there must also be a central control unit (CCU) responsible for directing the actions of the system. There also needs to be sensing devices that gather the requisite information and finally, there needs to be a device capable of transmitting information to and fro. In 1961 Weiner suggested the modern ultra-rapid computing machine was in principle an ideal central nervous system to an apparatus for automatic control. There is an endless reference eulogising the benefits that information technology bestows on human society. From government to industry and the academe, IT is seen a panacea for efficiency in the workplace. Morris (1995) has suggested that in the workplace, information technology is about democratisation, enhanced participation, and freedom. But from the theory of cybernetics, digital technologies cannot be considered neutral devices; they have turned out to be very suitable for certain types of control. Hence, we need to start developing the potential usefulness of theorising IT around metaphors of cybernetic technology to allow us reconceptualise information technologies through some critical spectacle. After all, information technologies may be inherently undemocratic because IT is about centralisation of control. People have focused exclusively on the cybernetic transfer mechanisms of IT and not on the information itself. The emphasis has been on speed of information transfer, without recourse to the fact that speed only does not qualify the role and suitability of information technology. But we want to deliberately distract our fixation from the transfer mechanisms of technology and rather focus on the implication of cybernation on information itself. This new dimension is strengthened by observations that the implementation of cybernetic systems has rendered middle management simply no longer needed to assist the upper level management. Management recognise and advocate this development because it would seem to yield a better form of control. We can describe a metaphor of social cybernetics - when the devices, which operate on the environment are human beings who have ideas of their own, and who need to be surveilled for the emergence of a powerful control. To achieve this, the social cybernetic system must also be able to mobilise systems of reward and punishment so that instead of seeking information on the condition of the instrument, a social cybernetic system seeks information on compliance. Let u now fit this metaphor into the academic world. In the academe, the object being surveiled is the scholar, the information under surveillance is scholarly publication and patent, the central control unit (CCU) responsible for directing the actions of the system is the centralized warehouse of scientific papers expected to represent the average of global scientific evidence. Surveillance and panopticism arise from the skewed selection and characterization of sources to be included in the warehouse based on, though well defined but undemocratic criteria, which benefit the technology-rich part of the world. The reward is a generalized visibility index of world science achieved through ranking of scientists, their institutions and countries. We examine next the trend in the surveillance of the academe, and the breakthrough achieved therein through IT. Cybernating the academe through scholarly ranking History is fraught with efforts to mount surveillance on scholarly output in order to rank scholars, and this was envisaged to be achievable through publication counts. For most research and academic institutions in the world today, publication count has become a critical method of ranking scholars for ascension into tenured faculty roles. Publications are considered necessary for tenure, for advancement, and for many of the other rewards available as part of academic life. Beyond counting publications, there is the emergence of performance indicators in which the impact of papers is measured by assigning an impact factor, which shows the quality of the article, and by implication the quality of the authors scholarship. Issues around this phenomenon are captured under the popular citation analysis (CA). Citation analysis involves the accumulation, counting and interpretation of bibliographic references in order to identify significant information sources, individuals and institutions (Mete and Deschmukh 1996). CA posits that by recognizing that those who use information determine its value, a better way to measure the quality of the work could be by measuring the impact it makes on the community at large. Alternative definitions have associated citation analysis more with illuminating the relationship between different authors and their work (Sandison 1989). Today, CA has been extended far beyond its initial use to include categorising and creating journal hierarchy, map the sciences by identifying the cutting edge or research front (de Solla Price, 1965) and even to separate the harder rigorous sciences, like high energy physics, from the softer sciences - like sociology (Small and Crane, 1979). It has also been used to rank scholarly output. For example, it has been used to rank university departments (Cox and Catt, 1977; Rushton and Endler, 1977; Howard, Cole and Maxwell, 1987), the scholarly output of countries (Garfield, 1993), and scholars (Cole and Maxwell, 1989; Klein and Bloom, 1992). CA processing is very tedious, but new technologies have eased the execution of the task. CA itself is not a bad idea as there should be a means of assessing quality of production. Given the variety of human communities, their variety of human and natural resources, in addition to their attendant peculiar challenges, CA may be useful within localized and relatively homogenous contexts, and not necessarily on a global scale. This is because centralized CA will tell us the obvious: scientific activities and performance in the developing regions are below expectation. This information is not only useless to the development of science in the developing countries; it tends to stamp their place in the world of knowledge as almost irrelevant. The developing regions rather need to know exactly the level of their science as a basis for further development. It matters who performs better. But it matters most how each and everyone is performing. Notwithstanding, centralised viewpoint of CA has swept across the science landscape informing a certain unconvincing notion that, Scientific research is a universal activity (van-Raan 2005). The global research arena is thus assumed to be uniform and homogenous in terms of those paraphernalia that researchers mobilize to develop knowledge. Hence, research activities of a scientist in war torn Sudan can be compared with those of scientists in the USA. What emerges is rather a system of academic surveillance with the potential for very deep hegemonic control over scholarly discourse such that knowledge produced in some regions are not reckoned with whereas the knowledge in others are prominent on a global scale. In short, we see the potential to develop a cybernetic panopticon where some scholars can be made perfectly visible while others are eclipsed. CA is usually based on citation indexes (CI), a facility powered by the versatility of IT. The surveillance nature of CA can be linked to three major factors related to the developmental history of CI in the United States in the 1950's. The first was the need to document and publish through scientific journal literature the huge government expenditure in the World War II and its impact. The second was the growing dissatisfaction with the capacity of subject indexing to meet the needs of the active researcher because of its excessive lag times in adding materials to the indexes. Finally, there was the expectation that with automation, there could be a success in the development of citation indexing which could aid monitoring the production and use of scientific literature. We can tease out from these factors some capitalist and market drivers aimed at easing the administrators dilemma, namely the push for administrative measures of performance and productivity, a necessary activity which has led to some compromise of the primary purpose of research. The purpose of research A crucial question relates to the reason for conducting research. Originally, research is primarily conducted because a scientist wishes to contribute knowledge to the solution of human problems. The scientist is therefore most likely to start or even focus on problems in the researchers local environment using capabilities and resources available and accessible to the researcher. Later is the issue of professionalisation of science, which requires that scientists publish in order to showcase their skills in the research information marketplace as well as institutionalization of science in which researching is practiced as profession. While the later two points subsist and even taking preeminence, they ought not to subsume the original motive for researching. African scientists, for instance, focus on agriculture, clinical medicine and epidemiology, areas that obviously call for reinforced effort (Tijssen forthcoming). With the ever-present problems of hunger and malnutrition, malaria and HIV/AIDS as well as non-communicable diseases, there is a need for researches that address food production and health. In the same vein, the developed countries have conquered basic problems of food and hunger and now dwell on research activities that do not necessarily address the needs of developing countries. For instance, research focused on evolution of fashion and obesity in dogs, among others, can be spotted in the developed countries. Even very important areas of knowledge such as nanotechnology, which may hold great benefit for the whole world, may not be of primary interest to the needs of researchers in Africa. Research in a resource constrained region like Africa is expected to be small-scale in capacity, addressing appropriate therapies; culturally sensitive issues probably presented using culturally sensitive methodologies. The ecological bias of research activities also has great influence on other aspects of research activities and publications. For instance, it is not expected that researchers will read research papers that do not address their needs. If a research article focuses on perceptions about malaria among a small people in Nigeria, say, and is published in Netherlands where malaria is absent and where malaria research is carried only in sympathy with the health needs of those in risk regions, the likelihood that such an article will be read and or cited will be slim. The readership of such materials will be constituted of citizens of malaria risk countries resident in the Netherlands or developing countries scholars who have one interest or other on malaria. In the same vein, there might not be journals in Africa that would accommodate papers that focus on specific developed countries problems or highly specialized science such as nanotechnology. When African journals publish such papers, the reasons might be the pride of the probability that such publications might boost the images of their journals. In all cases, anyway, such papers might be serving the purpose of completing the number of papers required to make a journal edition. The question of the purpose of research is also expected to influence the choice of journals through which researchers publish their research results. Except when the purpose of research is other than problem solving, scientists would want their research outputs to influence others and contribute to what others know and do. They would therefore want to publish their research findings where they will be used by prospective target. These factors have implications for the appropriateness and even validity of any centralized indexing services of any database, which negates this ecological feature of research. Apart from being incomplete due to economic, political and other reasons, globally centralized databases are not at all representative of the efforts of scholars to meet the needs of their societies. Moreover, human problems are not homogenous universally just as human skills and access to resources are also differentiated. Knowledge itself is ethnographic in its structure such that local knowledge in Africa is not the same as local knowledge in India just as local knowledge in America cannot be considered local in Africa. This trajectory of opinion begins to show that what seems to be happening in centralised science evaluation is a situation whereby what could be considered local science in the West is being universally used as a criterion to assess scientific performance universally. This is intellectual hegemony, and the tool for its arrogation is information and communication technologies. In many countries such as Nigeria, a significant fraction of research is done within the private sector, or by NGOs and international donor agencies, run mainly by serving or retired academics or civil servants and other specialists, although there is yet no formal characterization of evidences of their research outputs. By the nature of their research activities, NGOs focus mainly on action studies adopting qualitative research methods. When surveys are conducted the research focuses on serve the purpose of providing baseline knowledge, which they require for the intervention. The nature of these researches influences the pattern of their dissemination; the dissemination might be directed at the communities where the data were collected from or to other population groups that might benefit or contribute to the solution of the problem at hand. In some cases, reports whose content range from primary result generated in the field to mere narrative reports of what has been done as well as detailed accounting of money spent on the research are required by the funding agencies. It is only on a few occasions, the results of these researches may be published in journals- mainly when the researcher is still a serving academic and would require the publications for assessment purposes. Hence, major research activities of the non-university/research institutions do not lend themselves to publications in learned journals. This observation is corroborated by Gailliard (1996) who has established that 65% of published outputs of research in Africa come from the universities who also have the highest skilled personnel. Since 1665, when the first journal was born in France, many developed countries governments have been sponsoring journals through which their research are expressed, in addition to those sponsored by other stakeholders. They also show great interest and invest heavily in the activities of their researchers. In some developing countries, such as South Africa, there exist structures erected by the government both to encourage and monitor research production and performance. There exist a management information system referred to as the Higher Education Management Information System (HEMIS) in which funding is based on publication rate and the postgraduate graduation rate (DeBeer 2003). Such structures are not only non-existent in Nigeria and many other developing countries of Africa; where there is also no expression of consciousness that the activities of the universities and research institutions should go beyond training of manpower required for the national labour force in the public and private sectors. This standpoint of the government is reflected in government pattern of educational funding, in which priority is given to salaries and minimal maintenance, and very little to research. In Nigeria, there exists a National Science Technology Policy, which recognizes research as a critical requirement for planning and decision-making but omits completely issues relating to the evidences of the researches. Gaillard (1996) has observed that research structures installed in the independence years have collapsed in many African countries and this adds to the poor educational funding and poor working conditions of researchers in the continent, issues that have been discussed extensively in the literature (Onyeonoru 1992). These circumstances have implications for quality, quantity and type of research that researchers undertake. It also has further implications that scientists go about publishing the results of their endeavours through means that are accessible and available to them. Professional associations fund many journals in Africa, a factor that could be largely linked with the applied nature of the research contents products that receive less citation in the literature. For reasons associated with funding, most virile professional associations are often the multidisciplinary ones, which have a larger membership and are also capable of sourcing for required funds (Nwagwu, 2005). Much of CA is based on publications in English Language. English Language is one of the over 6000 languages in use in the world today, which provide medium for knowledge dissemination. In 1995, English was the second most common language next to Chinese. By 2050, English is envisaged to be the fourth most common language while Bengali, Tamil and Malay are the fastest growing languages (Graddol, 2004). The need to make the computer usable in as many human languages as possible is likely going to worsen the situation for English language because these efforts will contribute in the development of many local languages. In Nigeria, although there is no national project directed at this need, there are several pockets of activities that show that individuals and organisations are addressing the question of making Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo computer-accessible (Adegbola, 2004). This development notwithstanding, the indexed knowledge of worlds science and technology continues to be driven by English language, leaving out the bulk of knowledge developed in other languages. It becomes very unprofitable to neglect what could be considered the greater part of human knowledge because those knowledge developed in local languages are most likely to represent the most appropriate evidence of research endeavour of human communities. In many African countries, for instance, there exist journals that have been produced since the 1960s in local languages  Source: Graddol, D. The Future of Language Science (2004) 27 February 2004; Vol. 303. no. 5662, pp. 1329 1331. but are not indexed in any of the internationally acclaimed indexes. There are many other locale sensitive issues that do not favour the use of centralized CA as evaluation tool for African researchers. A common observation today is that many journals source their materials through papers presented in conferences and other academic meetings. These papers are then gathered together after the presenters have made necessary corrections arising from the comment of colleagues in the conference. Conference proceedings in Nigeria hardly ever transform to journal resources. Already the journals are very few in number comparison with the number of scientists and research institutions that exist. The outcomes of conferences are sometimes merely compiled as proceedings. Furthermore, do the governments and policy makers in public and private institutions read journals? Apart from journals being inaccessible, the time required to read and integrate issues contained in journals as into policies is usually not available to such persons. All the same they use information. In Nigeria, the major sources of information for policy makers continue to be government documents, standing orders, and newspapers, among others. It is upon the basis of these sources that decisions affecting the whole people in the country are based. However, international indexing databases do not include such information sources, making them inherently incongruent for global science assessment. The inherent incongruence of central evaluation methods CA is IT-driven. Based on non-universalisable set of criteria, a collection of journals is organized in large databases, and manipulated using metric processes to yield information about the authors and the research publications in the databases. Although efforts at developing citation analysis tools dated beyond the emergence of information technology, the power of modern information and communication technologies has tremendous capability for the manipulation of the complex explosion that accompanies citing of published material by peers. Many people have criticized citation analysis based on the unsuitability of its quantitative base as well as the manipulability of the tool to achieve some discriminatory purposes. For instance greater citation visibility has been observed to be manipulable through self-citation and mentor related factors and citation clubs. Crucial questions have also been asked regarding the validity of CA since citing is a social phenomenon that might be coloured by motivational and psychological factors. The acts of selecting citable materials, the relevance and suitability of the cited materials, the need to identify with some scholars and not others are some of the biases that have been identified with citation analysis based evaluation. Furthermore, significant contributions, and especially those that challenge scholarly canons, may be partially or wholly erased from the citation record. The accuracy of citation analysis has been contested over the past twenty years, based on the assumptions about what citation counts represent, and what cannot be measured by them. It is argued that citation frequencies do not reflect browsing, borrowing and reading without citation, all of which may also influence thinking within a particular field (Ferguson and Price 1995; Mohan, 1980). Smith (1981) contends that many widely known ideas, informal and non-published sources are not cited, nor are current awareness resources (Garfield, 1972), while it has been estimated that only a third of all influences appear as citations (MacRoberts and MacRoberts 1989, 1996). However, those who make the case for the reliability of citation analysis argue for a positive correlation between citation counts and usage (Kelland and Young, 1994), although correlation is known not to imply causation. Questions are also raised about the status of value that a citation confers on an article, as it may exist for cosmetic reasons (Garfield, 1994), as introductory tools to the original work being documented (Schoonbaert and Roelants, 1996), or as self-citations (MacRoberts and MacRoberts 1996, Hamilton 1990). Other factors have been put forward which may affect the degree to which any article is cited, such as accessibility, the age of the journal (Altman and Goreman 1996) journal circulation, author reputation (Garfield 1972) and authors awareness of the literature (MacRoberts and MacRoberts 1996). There also exist sufficient counteractive opinions from those scientists who consider citation counts as reliable indicators of quality (Lindsey 1989, Smart and Felton 1981). Peritz (1992) has suggested that citations are used to make an informative point and their frequency, therefore, can be used as a legitimate, albeit rough-and-ready, indicator of merit. Beyond these are some latent but neoliberal undertones for which citation analysis could be considered very unsuitable. If there are motivational and psychological factors that muddy the waters of citation analysis, and if citation counts can be engineered, then CA might also be susceptible to larger structural and political influences. CA privileges North American and European scholarly discourse, with an evident Euro centric bias in its patterns. Otherwise how would one explicate the fact that language constitutes a barrier to selection of serials to be indexed, and yet categorical statements are being made about world science? Beyond this, what is the explanation for selecting some journals and excluding others based on criteria that could be considered inegalitarian? (Velho, 1986) observed that scientists in the colonising nations make negligible use of work emanating from peripheral nations regardless of quality. On the other hand, scientists in the colonised nations are expected to consider it a pride when they either publish in or read research articles written by coloniser countries scholars. In Nigeria, of the 121 journals that circulated in biomedicine in 1990 only four were indexed in Medline (Nwagwu, 2005). This is the experience of any African countries. Using CA to evaluate international contributions therefore institutionalises Euro centric biases by obliterating playing down on biased citation behaviour. Any CA conducted to evaluate the international impact of scholarly research will systematically devalue the contributions made by peripheral nations, a development that mirrors and supports an already existing one-way flow of information (Agarin, 2006; Wresch, 1996). No doubt there exist what could be considered most formal contributions to knowledge evident in and supported by technology mastery, CA should not be insensitive to other scientific information producers and users. A bias in favour of the conservative will give an inadequate impression about world science. Since CA does not fairly represent the entire range of contributions to the academy, using it as a way of measuring global contribution will exacerbate already existing hierarchies and ensure that the vast pool of scientific workers never gets credit for their contribution. In Africa, this observation will be very significant. There are private and public as well as mission universities just as there exist many research and development and management institutions, which carry out research, despite evidence of poor research facilities. These research products contribute in building the knowledge of the people of Africa but might be published in sources, which central infrastructures might consider of low quality. Alternatives and conclusions While information technology has facilitated the development of techniques used in assessing science, it would appear that centralized CA strategy serves many probably unintended purposes. The resulting processes have implications for surveillance as well as the creation of a high-tech panoptic state and economy developed to control researchers. The profits of this control do not go to the whole world but serve the purpose of clearly marking some countries of the world, as intellectual giants while others are mere passerby Lilliputians. The impact of this neoliberal assault on education is becoming very prominent because it has created the window that makes the universities and other educational institutions mere public spaces under the tutelage of public officials who control the resources. The productivity and performance paradox are leading to a re-imagining of the universities and schools as spaces appropriate for the valorisation of capital. As a result, universities are being colonised, both physically and intellectually, by capital, its representatives, and its ideologies. Citation indexing is a kind of  HYPERLINK "http://www.db.dk/bh/lifeboat_ko/CONCEPTS/indexing.htm" indexing in which the  HYPERLINK "http://www.db.dk/bh/Core%20Concepts%20in%20LIS/articles%20a-z/bibliographic_reference.htm" bibliographic references of documents are made searchable and refer to the documents being indexed. The cited references in a document are made part of the  HYPERLINK "http://www.db.dk/bh/lifeboat_ko/CONCEPTS/subject_access_points.htm" subject access points available for  HYPERLINK "http://www.db.dk/bh/Core%20Concepts%20in%20LIS/articles%20a-z/information_retrieval.htm" information retrieval. It is therefore a good idea; the only difficulty is in its centralization. Used within a local environment where research conditions are relatively homogenous, citation analysis might serve as a relatively objective strategy to assess performance (Bavelas, 1978) and even for a subjective evaluation of patterns of journal usage and demand (Woodfield, Morris and Jacobs, 1999). Already this consciousness is beginning to emerge gradually. With the development of Chinese Science Citation Database in 1987 as well as Scielo, a regional citation index in Latin America, the strength of centralized indexes might be on the decline while emphasis is shifting on regional, national or even subject area indexes. Although, the only\ single global index is based in the United States, there are many other indexes in the same country, which are designed to address specific subject areas. For instance, PROLA (Physical Review Online Archive) focuses on a single old journal; Science Direct, a publisher/host of many journals; Amazon.com, a bookstore; NASA Astrophysics Data System Abstract Services; Citation Bridge (US Patents), among others, want to understand the characteristics of knowledge they produce. Except probably Amazon.com, the services of most of the organizations listed here are not available for public use. Access to Thomson Scientific databases, a giant citation database that has a universal scope, is cost prohibitive and many universities in Africa cannot afford a subscription. For now, there is no identifiable citation indexing service in any country in Africa, not even at a regional level, a gap that an African Citation Index (ACI) being midwifed by the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa based in Dakar Senegal will fill. Using methods developed for mapping the journal structure, for instance, contained in aggregated journal-journal citations in Science Citation Index Leydesdorff (2005) studied Chinese Science Citation Database and concluded that science in China exhibits the characteristics of Mode 2 than its western counterparts. What is the structure of science in Africa? with the marginal representation of African research outputs in major indexes, only ACI can provide an answer to this question. REFERENCES Adegbola, O.A. 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