Research metrics are currently being debated across the UK. With last week’s 1AM conference discussing alternative metrics and this week’s In metrics we trust? event as part of the Independent Review of the Role of Metrics in Research Assessment, the uses and misuses of metrics are under close scrutiny. Cameron Neylon reports back from last week’s altmetrics conference and looks at the primary motivations […]
Do our academic creations belong to us? Should we think of them as property? Amidst debates about how to cite properly and circulating fears of ideas being stolen, do we risk losing touch with wider questions about how ideas emerge and develop, and the limits of provenance? Davina Cooper argues public action may provide a better way of thinking […]
Proof over promise: Moving citation metric systems beyond journal impact towards a career impact approach.
Publishing in a high-impact journal carries the implicit promise that the article will also be highly cited. But the proof of this logic remains unsubstantiated. By combining more accurate citation metrics, like the hIa-index and the citation-per-author-per-year metric, Anne-Wil Harzing and Wilfred Mijnhardt provide a more substantial alternative to the narrow journal-based metric. This combined metric provides a more reliable comparison between […]
Providing access across subjects and regions, the Data Citation Index is linking up with repositories to provide a single-point recognition mechanism for quality research data. Christopher Lortie welcomes this development as it will profoundly reshape the publication pipeline and further fuel the open science movement. Data can now be recognised and cited as independent products, with or without them being linked to […]
Secrets of journal subscription prices: For-profit publishers charge libraries two to three times more than non-profits.
Ted Bergstrom writes of his involvement requesting copies of library contracts with several major publishers in order to compare journal pricing data for bundled journal access. The significant differences that exist across universities for the same content and between publishers raises some major questions on the effectiveness of such pricing models. He finds that the differences in bundle prices depend largely […]
Low visibility of Latin American repositories in Google Scholar: technical incompatibility or lack of web strategy?
The content in many repositories in Latin America fail to come up in systematic searches largely due to the inadequate use of domain names and metadata schema, find Enrique Orduña-Malea and Emilio Delgado-López-Cózar. Institutional repositories are ultimately websites and concepts such as usability, information architecture, search engine optimization, among others, should be considered in their primary design. In a context like […]
There has been much discussion over how useful citation metrics, like Google Scholar’s H-index, really are and to what extent they can be gamed. Specifically there appears to be concern over the practice of self-citation as it varies widely between disciplines. So what should academics make of self-citations? Referring back to our Handbook on Maximising the Impact of Your […]
Scientific Misbehavior in Economics: Unacceptable research practice linked to perceived pressure to publish.
Upholding research integrity depends on our ability to understand the extent of misconduct. Sarah Necker describes her landmark study on economists’ research norms and practices. Fabrication, falsification and plagiarism are widely considered to be unjustifiable, but misbehaviour is still prevalent. For example, 1-3% of economists surveyed admit that they have accepted or offered gifts, money, or sex in exchange for […]
Across all fields, Open Access articles in Swedish repository have a higher citation rate than non-OA articles.
Due to differences in citation practices amongst scientific disciplines, existing research on a possible open access citation advantage remains limited. A new study seeks to overcome these limitations by investigating whether there is a possible OA citation advantage across all fields. Lars Kullman presents his findings on cross-field citation comparisons between OA and non-OA articles from the Chalmers University of Technology self-archive repository. […]
Is the fear of metrics symptomatic of a deeper malaise? On fiefdoms and scapegoats of the academic community.
This Monday marks the end of the open consultation for HEFCE’s Independent Review of the Role of Metrics in Research Assessment. Steve Fuller expands on his submission and also responds to other prominent critiques offered. He argues that academics, especially interdisciplinary scholars, should welcome the opportunity to approach the task of citation differently. Whilst many complain of the high citation rates […]
Academic citation practices need to be modernized so that all references are digital and lead to full texts.
Researchers and academics spend a lot of time documenting the sources of the ideas, methods and evidence they have drawn on in their own writings. But Patrick Dunleavy writes that our existing citation and referencing practices are now woefully out of date and no longer fit for purpose. The whole scholarly purpose of citing sources has changed around us, […]
Scientists can be reluctant to share data because of the need to publish journal articles and receive recognition. But what if the data sets were actually a better way of getting credit for your work? Chris Belter measured the impact of a few openly accessible data sets and compared to journal articles in his field. His results provide hard evidence that […]
Impact Round-Up 26th April: The cost of journal subscriptions, writing for impact, and the Journal Openness Index.
Managing Editor Sierra Williams presents a round-up of popular stories from around the web on higher education, academic impact, and trends in scholarly communication.
Open access advocate and Cambridge mathematician Tim Gowers has been pulling together information on Elsevier journal subscription costs in an effort to provide a bigger picture of what the current scholarly communication system is costing university libraries (previously […]
It is widely accepted that academic papers are rarely cited or even read. But what kind of data lies behind these assertions? Dahlia Remler takes a look at the academic research on citation practices and finds that whilst it is clear citation rates are low, much confusion remains over precise figures and methods for determining accurate citation analysis. In […]
Geographies of knowledge: practical ways to boost the visibility of research undertaken and published in the South.
Jonathan Harle and Sioux Cumming discuss how to strengthen research networks in developing countries. There is still a huge body of Southern research which simply never gets counted. Research that is undertaken and published in the South needs to be valued, and this will only happen when Southern universities value it in their reward and promotion systems and when research funders recognise […]
University rankings wield immense influence over Higher Ed and society at large – with positive and perverse effects.
In a time of growing demand for and on higher education, university rankings have transformed university strategy. Ellen Hazelkorn finds their crude simplicity is what makes rankings so infectious. Yet, quality is a complex concept. Most of the indicators used are effectively measures of socio-economic advantage, and privilege the most resource-intensive institutions and-or countries. In response and reaction to the limited […]
“Re-purposing” data in the Digital Humanities: Data beg to be taken from one context and transferred to another.
While scientists may be well-versed in drawing on existing data sources for new research, humanists are not conditioned to chop up another scholar’s argument, isolate a detail and put it into an unrelated argument. Seth Long critically examines the practice of re-purposing data and finds data in the digital humanities beg to be re-purposed, taken from one context and […]
The h-index attempts to measure the productivity and impact of the published work of scholar. But reducing scholarly work to a number in this way has significant limitations. Stacy Konkiel highlights four specific reasons the h-index fails to capture a complete picture of research impact. Furthermore, there are a variety of new altmetrics tools out there focusing on how to […]