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    University rankings wield immense influence over Higher Ed and society at large – with positive and perverse effects.

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 […]

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    “Re-purposing” data in the Digital Humanities: Data beg to be taken from one context and transferred to another.

“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 […]

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Four reasons to stop caring so much about the h-index.

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 […]

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Impact Round-Up 18th January: #altmetrics mania, adjunct invisibility, and quantitative sociology at Facebook.

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. A sociologist working at facebook by Michael Corey at OrgTheory. Facebookers are heavily involved with academic pursuits…My own team (Growth Research) is made up of two sociologists and a manager trained in communications with a sociologist as an advisor. Many […]

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Moneyball for Academics: network analysis methods for predicting the future success of papers and researchers.

Drawing from a combination of network analysis measurements, Erik Brynjolfsson and Shachar Reichman present methods from their research on predicting the future success of researchers. The overall vision for this project is to create an academic dashboard that will include a suite of measures and prediction methods that could supplement the current subjective tools used in decision-making processes in academia. The big data revolution […]

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Twitter and traditional bibliometrics are separate but complementary aspects of research impact.

In a recent study, Haustein and colleagues found a weak correlation between the number of times a paper is tweeted about and subsequent citations. But the study also found papers from 2012 were tweeted about ten times more than papers from 2010. Emily Darling discusses the results and finds that while altmetrics may do a poor job at predicting the traditional […]

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A Bayesian approach to the REF: finding the right data on journal articles and citations to inform decision-making.

Now that the REF submission window has closed, a small panel of academics are tasked with rating thousands of academic submissions, which will result in university departments being ranked and public money being distributed. Given the enormity of the task and the scarcity of the resources devoted to it, Daniel Sgroi discusses a straightforward procedure that might help, based on the […]

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As the REF submission period ends, mismatched publishing incentives signal challenging times ahead in academia.

Academics are frequently subject to new types of evaluations. November marks the end of the submission process for the UK funding council’s evaluation, the Research Excellence Framework (REF). John Hudson discusses some of the shortcomings of the REF and the methods individual papers are ranked. New evaluations and requirements change the incentives of economists and can affect their research – sometimes […]

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Universities can improve academic services through wider recognition of altmetrics and alt-products.

As altmetrics gain traction across the scholarly community, publishers and academic institutions are seeking to develop standards to encourage wider adoption. Carly Strasser provides an overview of why altmetrics are here to stay and how universities might begin to incorporate altmetrics into their own services. While this process might take some time, institutions can begin by encouraging their researchers to recognize the importance […]

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The usefulness of citation counts depends heavily on the context of an individual’s publishing community.

Are citations the best way to assess a scientific researcher’s worth? David Laband argues that although citation counts are easy to quantify and broadly indicative, they ultimately provide limited information and should only be used with a healthy dose of caution and common sense. At stake is the distribution of enormously important scientific resources, both public and private. Let me […]

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Put your money where your citations are: a proposal for a new funding system

What would happen if researchers were given more control over their own funding and the funding of others? Hadas Shema looks at the results from an article that makes the case for a collective approach to the allocation of science funding. By funding people directly rather than projects, money and time would be saved and researchers would be given more […]

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Libraries can embrace the use of altmetrics as a means to strengthen the functionality of institutional repositories.

With the expansion of digital scholarship, alternative metrics have emerged as a useful way to measure the impact of scholarly outputs beyond traditional citation counts. LSE Research Online has recently added an altmetrics tool to display the ways in which LSE research is being used in this broader social landscape. Lucy Ayre provides further background on why this addition is beneficial for the Library […]

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How is technology disrupting traditional academic practice? A look back at the NetworkED series

The LSE’s Centre for Learning Technology looks ahead to Anne-Wil Harzing’s talk on the impact of citation analysis and Sonja Grussendorf reflects on the course of the seminar series which has looked at how technological developments, particularly the internet, have led to changes in the way researchers and higher education institutions can understand their role in facilitating knowledge creation.  Last year, […]

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May 28th, 2013|Citations, Impact|1 Comment|

The research impact agenda must translate measurement into learning

Funders and the wider research community must avoid the temptation to reduce impact to just things that can be measured, says Liz Allen of the Wellcome Trust. Measurement should not be for measuring’s sake; it must be about contributing to learning. Qualitative descriptors of progress and impact alongside quantitative measurements are essential in order to evaluate whether the research is actually making a difference. Learning […]

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Why every researcher should sign up for their ORCID ID

The Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier, or ORCID, is a non-profit effort providing digital identifiers to the research community to ensure correct authorship data is available and more transparent. Brian Kelly welcomes the widespread adoption of the unique ORCID ID arguing that it should be a particular priority for researchers whose position in their host institution is uncertain: which is to […]

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The hidden map of science: Pre-publication history of articles tells us that rejection leads to higher citations

No-one wants to have their paper rejected by a top journal, but is there a silver lining to an initial disappointment? Vincent Calcagno finds that papers that are resubmitted to a second or third choice journal enjoy a ‘benefit of rejection’ and are more likely to receive a higher number of citations when published. Every scientific author or editor has […]

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October 25th, 2012|Citations, Impact|6 Comments|

There’s something fishy about citations: We need a method of assessing the support of research if we want to change the ‘publish or perish’ culture

Current citation biases give us only the narrowest slice of scientific support. Bradley Voytek writes that while BrainSCANr may have flaws, it gives the reader a quick indication of how well-supported an academic argument is and could provide a new way of thinking about citations. Science has a lot of problems. Or rather, scientometrics has a lot of problems. Scientific […]

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October 17th, 2012|Citations, Impact|9 Comments|

We can do much better than rely on the self-fulfilling impact factor: Academics must harness ideas of engagement to illustrate their impact

Impact Factors are a god-send for overworked and distracted individuals, and while Google Scholar goes some way to utilizing multiple measures to determine a researcher’s impact, Jonathan Becker argues that we can go one better. He writes that engagement is the next metric that academics must conquer. Those of you in the professoriate are likely in the same position as […]

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The launch of ImpactStory: using altmetrics to tell data-driven stories

By providing real-time information, altmetrics are shifting how research impact is understood. Jason Priem and Heather Piwowar outline the launch of ImpactStory, a new webapp aiming to provide a broader picture of impact to help scholars understand more about the audience and reach of their research. The Web is awesome for lots of reasons, but for scholars it comes down to […]

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Can librarians trust resources found on Google Scholar? Yes… and no.

Many librarians are still unwilling to fully embrace Google Scholar as a resource. Michelle C. Hamilton, Margaret M. Janz and Alexandra Hauser investigate whether Google Scholar has the accuracy, authority and currency to be trustworthy enough for scholars. One of the reasons science librarians prefer subscription-based databases (ie SciFinder or Web of Science) or those offered as a service of the government (ie PubMed) is the […]

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This work by LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.