Key perspectives and contributions – including those from queer scholars – are, in effect, written out of the discipline of political science, argues Nicola Smith. Far from being the highly multifaceted and inclusive field that it purports itself to be, political science is presenting itself in ways that marginalise the very work that is being treated as central in other social science […]
How can universities increase Green Open Access? Article deposit rates soar after direct solicitation from library.
Universities have struggled to increase article deposit rates for their institutional repositories. Regardless of citation benefits and top-down mandates, getting faculty to adjust publishing workflows does not happen overnight. At their institution, Michael Boock and Hui Zhang found that direct solicitation of author manuscripts has been the most effective method of reaching a higher deposit rate.
Authors who wish to provide open […]
Towards ‘Health Information for All': Medical content on Wikipedia received 6.5 billion page views in 2013.
The medical content in Wikipedia receives substantial online traffic, links to a great body of academic scholarship and presents a massive opportunity for health care information. James Heilman and Andrew West present their findings on the wider editorial landscape looking to improving the quality and impact of medical content on the web. Data points to the enormous potential of these efforts, and further analysis […]
How long does a scientific paper need to be? Length limits can have a detrimental effect on scientific reporting.
In principle, length limits should help with the accessibility and readability of a scientific paper. But in practice these limits often achieve the opposite effect. Now that journals are becoming online-only, Dorothy Bishop argues, lengths limits are far less relevant. Yes, we should encourage authors to be succinct, but not so succinct that scientific communication is compromised.
There was an interesting exchange a […]
Metrics already perform a powerful productive role in the social world; they vindicate and limit, they cajole and incentivise, they legitimate and justify. When we reflect on how metrics are frequently used to manage performance, to facilitate competition, to judge us or to compare what we do with others, it is crucial that we see metrics as being central to […]
Fast and made to last: Academic blogs look to ensure long-term accessibility and stability of content.
Academic blogging has distinct advantages over traditional forms of scholarly communication but questions on their lasting preservation still remain to be seen. Who makes sure academic blog content stays online in the long term? Who guarantees that links to the post remains the same? Who ensures that the text will not be modified later on? Christof Schöch argues these are issues that […]
What exactly is a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) and how does it help in the management and long-term preservation of research? Laurence Horton explains the basic structure and purpose of a DOI and also points to some limitations. DOIs are not the only way of providing fixed, persisting references to objects, but they have emerged as the leading system.
A DOI is a Digital […]
Scholarly behaviour and evaluation criteria: Uncovering the superficial characteristics that lead to higher citations
Do scholars adjust their publication behaviour depending on the criteria used in their evaluation? Maarten van Wesel presents findings showing how the publishing behaviour of scholars changed when evaluation switched from emphasising ‘publish-or-perish’ to impact factors. Whilst this may suggest a shift from quantity to quality, the number of citations a paper receives not only depends on its scholarly value, […]
Citations are not enough: Academic promotion panels must take into account a scholar’s presence in popular media.
Scholars all around the world are almost solely judged upon their publications in (prestigious) peer-reviewed journals. Asit Biswas and Julian Kirchherr argue that publications in the popular media must count as well. After all, these publications are crucial in informing practitioners’ decision-making.
Many of the world’s most talented thinkers may be university professors, but sadly most of them do not […]
Terry Clague sheds reasonable doubt on the assertion that contributing to edited book chapters is a waste of time. The sole aim of publication isn’t necessarily to maximise citations. If citations are the only measure of academic value then there’s a danger that academic research becomes the X-Factor. Furthermore, edited collections can also aid discovery of new material where […]
The failure of a web address to link to the appropriate online source is a significant problem facing scholarly material. Martin Klein and Herbert Van de Sompel together with their collaborators have investigated the extent of reference rot on scholarly domains and their results show an alarming link rot ratio. The authors also explore ways to mitigate it through more systematic […]
Self-archived articles receive higher citation counts than non-OA articles from same political science journals.
The low level of research funding for the social sciences in the US is likely to have a direct and negative effect on researchers’ ability to pay the article processing charges associated with the most common Gold OA business model. But there are other options. Amy Atchison and Jonathan Bull look at the benefits of Green Open Access. Their research indicates self-archived/ Green […]
Predicting the results of the REF using departmental h-index: A look at biology, chemistry, physics, and sociology.
Can metrics be used instead of peer review for REF-type assessments? With the stakes so high, any replacement would have to be extremely accurate. Olesya Mryglod, Ralph Kenna, Yurij Holovatch and Bertrand Berche looked at two metric candidates, including the departmental h-index, and four subject areas: biology, chemistry, physics and sociology. The correlations are significant, but comparisons with RAE indicate that […]
Citation and referencing patterns are not trivial things but solid and important indications of the presence of primary academic virtues. Patrick Dunleavy looks at disciplinary differences and argues the poor citation practices in the humanities and social sciences are therefore not just harmful to academics, but to all who read their works or follow after them. To break past such attitudes requires a […]
Evaluation systems need not be perfect: University research assessment and the ongoing quest for simplicity.
In order to get a perfect assessment method, are we at risk of developing systems that are ever more complex and time-consuming? Dorothy Bishop looks at the differences between readily available measures to award research funding and the highly complicated RAE formula. An evaluation system need not be perfect – it just needs to be ‘good enough’ to provide a […]