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    The methodology used for the Times Higher Education World University Rankings’ citations metric can distort benchmarking

The methodology used for the Times Higher Education World University Rankings’ citations metric can distort benchmarking

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings can influence an institution’s reputation and even its future revenues. However, Avtar Natt argues that the methodology used to calculate its citation metrics can have the effect of distorting benchmarking exercises. The fractional counting approach applied to only a select number of papers with high author numbers has led to a situation […]

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    Research assessments based on journal rankings systematically marginalise knowledge from certain regions and subjects

Research assessments based on journal rankings systematically marginalise knowledge from certain regions and subjects

Many research evaluation systems continue to take a narrow view of excellence, judging the value of work based on the journal in which it is published. Recent research by Diego Chavarro, Ismael Ràfols and colleagues shows how such systems underestimate and prove detrimental to the production of research relevant to important social, economic, and environmental issues. These systems also reflect the […]

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    Collaboration and concerted action are key to making open data a reality

Collaboration and concerted action are key to making open data a reality

The case for open data is increasingly inarguable. Improved data practice can help to address concerns about reproducibility and research integrity, reducing fraud and improving patient outcomes, for example. Research also shows good data practice can lead to improved productivity and increased citations. However, as Grace Baynes reports, recent survey data shows that while the research community recognises the […]

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    Formalised data citation practices would encourage more authors to make their data available for reuse

Formalised data citation practices would encourage more authors to make their data available for reuse

It is increasingly common for researchers to make their data freely available. This is often a requirement of funding agencies but also consistent with the principles of open science, according to which all research data should be shared and made available for reuse. Once data is reused, the researchers who have provided access to it should be acknowledged for […]

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    Me, myself, and I: self-citation rates are higher in individualist cultures than in collectivist cultures

Me, myself, and I: self-citation rates are higher in individualist cultures than in collectivist cultures

Citing your own work when publishing a paper may be seen as a way of promoting yourself in academia, as how frequently a paper is cited is often viewed as a measure of its importance. Previous studies have shown that male authors are more likely than their female counterparts to cite themselves, arguably one of the reasons men continue […]

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    Microsoft Academic is on the verge of becoming a bibliometric superpower

Microsoft Academic is on the verge of becoming a bibliometric superpower

Last year, the new Microsoft Academic service was launched. Sven E. Hug and Martin P. Brändle look at how it compares with more established competitors such as Google Scholar, Scopus, and Web of Science. While there are reservations about the availability of instructions for novice users, Microsoft Academic has impressive semantic search functionality, broad coverage, structured and rich metadata, […]

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    How do LSE blogs impact the academic sphere? Blogs as citable items in scholarly publications

How do LSE blogs impact the academic sphere? Blogs as citable items in scholarly publications

In the third of a series of posts on the Impact of LSE Blogs project, Carlos Arrebola takes a closer look at the increasing frequency with which LSE blog posts are being cited in scholarly publications. The Impact Blog has been cited most often, perhaps reflecting its authors’ readiness to draw on non-traditional scholarly outputs. Unsurprisingly, a majority of citations come […]

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Introducing the Impact of LSE Blogs project!

Since launching in 2010, more than 2000 contributors have written for LSE’s public-facing academic blogs, reaching an ever-expanding, international audience. But how do we measure the impact of this particular form of research communication? In the first of a short series of posts, Carlos Arrebola and Amy Mollett introduce the Impact of LSE Blogs project. As well as following the […]

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    Making research articles freely available can help to negate gender citation effects in political science

Making research articles freely available can help to negate gender citation effects in political science

Advocates of open access (OA) argue that being freely available gives OA articles a citation advantage over pay-to-access-only articles. Indeed, while results are mixed, available research does tend to support that argument. However, is this advantage enough to overcome other factors that affect individual scholars’ citation rates, such as gender, race, and academic rank? Amy Atchison has conducted research […]

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    Female scientists are considerably more likely to be mistakenly cited as if they were males than vice versa

Female scientists are considerably more likely to be mistakenly cited as if they were males than vice versa

Gender stereotypes appear so enduring that certain prestigious professions continue to be almost exclusively associated with the male gender. Michał Krawczyk sought to discover if scientist was one such profession by studying the citations to a large sample of academic publications and identifying cases of gender misattribution of the cited author. Although the overall prevalence of gender misattributions is […]

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    Citations are more than merely assigning credit – their inclusion (or not) conditions how colleagues regard and evaluate your work

Citations are more than merely assigning credit – their inclusion (or not) conditions how colleagues regard and evaluate your work

The significance of citations goes far beyond energising and rewarding academic competition. Patrick Dunleavy outlines why citations are so important; from setting up a specialist discourse in an economical and highly-focused manner, guiding readers seeking to follow your extended chain of reasoning, right through to showing you have comprehensively surveyed all relevant work and pointed out its consistencies (or […]

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Google Scholar is a serious alternative to Web of Science

Many bibliometricians and university administrators remain wary of Google Scholar citation data, preferring “the gold standard” of Web of Science instead. Anne-Wil Harzing, who developed the Publish or Perish software that uses Google Scholar data, here sets out to challenge some of the misconceptions about this data source and explain why it offers a serious alternative to Web of […]

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    Mendeley reader counts offer early evidence of the scholarly impact of academic articles

Mendeley reader counts offer early evidence of the scholarly impact of academic articles

Although the use of citation counts as indicators of scholarly impact has well-documented limitations, it does offer insight into what articles are read and valued. However, one major disadvantage of citation counts is that they are slow to accumulate. Mike Thelwall has examined reader counts from Mendeley, the academic reference manager, and found them to be a useful source of […]

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    Twitter can help with scientific dissemination but its influence on citation impact is less clear

Twitter can help with scientific dissemination but its influence on citation impact is less clear

Researchers have long been encouraged to use Twitter. But does researchers’ presence on Twitter influence citations to their papers? José Luis Ortega explored to what extent the participation of scholars on Twitter can influence the tweeting of their articles and found that although the relationship between tweets and citations is poor, actively participating on Twitter is a powerful way […]

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    Citing retracted papers has a negative domino effect on science, education, and society

Citing retracted papers has a negative domino effect on science, education, and society

Once an academic paper is retracted, it is by no means certain it will not go on being cited. Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva, Judit Dobránszki and Helmar Bornemann-Cimenti use three key examples to demonstrate how the continued citation of retracted papers can lead to the proliferation of erroneous literature, mislead young academics and cause confusion among researchers as […]

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    Measuring the societal impact of research: references to climate change research in relevant policy literature

Measuring the societal impact of research: references to climate change research in relevant policy literature

A new metric offers insight into the societal impact of scholarly research by tracking the mentions of academic publications in policy documents. Lutz Bornmann, Robin Haunschild and Werner Marx have studied the usefulness of this metric, taking climate change research as their example, and found only a low percentage of papers were referenced in the relevant literature. Does this […]

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    The number behind the number: suggesting a truer measure of academic impact

The number behind the number: suggesting a truer measure of academic impact

The limitations of simple ‘citation count’ figures are well-known. Chris Carroll argues that the impact of an academic research paper might be better measured by counting the number of times it is cited within citing publications rather than by simply measuring if it has been cited or not. Three or more citations of the key paper arguably represent a […]

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    Bias against novelty in science: A cautionary tale for users of bibliometric indicators

Bias against novelty in science: A cautionary tale for users of bibliometric indicators

Novel breakthroughs in research can have a dramatic impact on scientific discovery but face some distinct disadvantages in getting wider recognition. Jian Wang, Reinhilde Veugelers, Paula Stephan present an overview of their findings which suggest an inherent bias in bibliometric measures against novel research. The bias is of particular concern given the increased reliance funding agencies place on classic bibliometric indicators in making funding […]

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    Peer review and bibliometric indicators just don’t match up according to re-analysis of Italian research evaluation.

Peer review and bibliometric indicators just don’t match up according to re-analysis of Italian research evaluation.

The Italian research evaluation agency undertook an extensive analysis to compare the results of peer review and bibliometric indicators for research evaluation. Their findings suggested both indicators produced similar results. Researchers Alberto Baccini and Giuseppe De Nicolao re-examine these results and find notable disagreements between the two techniques of evaluation in the sample and outline below the major shortcoming in the Italian Agency’s […]

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    What are the most-cited publications in the social sciences (according to Google Scholar)?

What are the most-cited publications in the social sciences (according to Google Scholar)?

Drawing on citation data that spans disciplines and time periods, Elliott Green has identified the most cited publications in the social sciences. Here he shares his findings on the 25 most cited books as well as the top ten journal articles. The sheer number of citations for these top cited publications is worth noting as is the fact that […]

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