In my salad days, I whiled away the hours in Geography class, forming cricket teams. If the devil, for example, were to form a cricket team, what would her eleven consist of? Not only one must determine the eleven, but the order in which they will go in to bat as well. One’s school mates would be busy constructing Jesus’s eleven and so on. This was a far more engaging than learning that Chunking was a conurbation and Singapore an entreport. It wasn’t long before I decided that cricket teams were dull and I wondered about academic departments. It came to pass that I would occupy myself in Biology class between organizing snail races (for which I was caught, and told I was just the sort of person who burnt down schools) and designing God’s mathematics departments. Try it. Department of size 25, say. You can have anyone you want living or dead, who would you put in?
Imagine my surprise to hear that the publisher Elsevier has software (which they call sci-val strata) to design a department for an ominous sounding collection called research managers (there’s a group destined for the B-ark if ever there was one). Plumbing their bibliometric database, the software allows one to `drag and drop’ researches into a group and see what would happen. I’m a little vague on the `see what would happen part’. I guess they have various metrics to `measure’ the impact of the new team. If one could include salary information and turn it into a mobile device app, one would have a delightful way to pass the time in seminars.