Goodhart’s Law

Definition: A term coined by economist Charles Goodhart to refer to the observation that measuring something inherently changes user behaviour. In relation to examination performance, Strathern (1997) stated that “when a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure” (p. 308). Applied to open scholarship, and the structure of incentives in academia, Goodhart’s Law would predict that metrics of scientific evaluation will likely be abused and exploited, as evidenced by Muller (2019)

Related terms: Campbell's law, DORA, Reification (fallacy)

References: Reference (s): Muller (2019), & Strathern (1997)

Drafted and Reviewed by: Adam Parker, Sam Parsons, Flávio Azevedo

Note that we are currently working on an automated mechanism to link references cited above with their full-length version that can be found at with all references used so far.