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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    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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    Working with the media can be beneficial but linking to and citing your research should be compulsory

Working with the media can be beneficial but linking to and citing your research should be compulsory

It’s great when academic research is covered by the media but too often this coverage fails to link back to or properly cite the research itself. It’s time academics insisted on this and Andy Tattersall outlines the benefits of doing so. As well as pointing more people to your work, the use of identifiers allows you to track 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 […]

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 […]

October 25th, 2012|Citations, Impact|9 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 […]

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

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 […]

Is writing a book chapter a waste of time?

Edited books may not pick up citations in Google Scholar but Pat Thomson writes that they do different work than journal articles or blogs and are often the first point of call for teachers, students and practitioners. It would be silly to think that writing a book chapter is a waste of time, but they must also be handled with […]

How to bury your academic writing

Book chapters can allow freedom to think about your work in line with broader theoretical issues, but if you’re tempted to write a book chapter for an edited collection, it might be best to reconsider. Dorothy Bishop finds that researchers who write book chapters might as well bury the paper in a hole in their garden.  Inappropriate use of journal […]

Deep impact: Our manuscript on the consequences of journal rank

Bjoern Brembs has argued that journal rank has no persuasive predictive property for any measure of scientific quality. In an attempt to set a standard for the evidence used in debates on journal rank, Brembs and Marcus Munafo release their latest manuscript assessing one of the most important infrastructures in academia. For the better part of this year, Marcus Munafò […]

Wow – Google Scholar ‘Updates’ a big step forward in sifting through the scientific literature

Google Scholar had shown great promise as a digital tool for academics. Jonathan Eisen discovers its new ‘updates’ service has potential to open the door to a lot of new, valuable and open access research.   I logged on to Google Scholar last week and discovered something very new. This “updates” thing was not there earlier in the day.  So […]

We must make the digital world central to sociological research

How we connect socially in the digital world must now become a central feature of sociologial study. Sociologists need to learn how to use digital media for professional purposes, but they must also explore the impact of these media.  Deborah Lupton issues a call to keyboards. What is digital sociology? Why is the term not commonly used, when the terms […]

How journals manipulate the importance of research and one way to fix it

Our methods of rewarding research foster an incentive for journal editors to ‘game’ the system, and one in five researchers report being pressured to include citations from the prospective journal before their work is published. Curt Rice outlines how we can put an end to coercive citations. Over 20 per cent of researchers have been pressured by journal editors to […]

Scholars need to move from filling gaps to doing more imaginative and innovative research

Our ‘publish or perish’ mentality is sacrificing more imaginative and innovative ideas. Looking at the field of Management studies, Marcel Bogers writes that a troubling shortage of novel academic ideas must be tackled by new institutional conditions, rethinking professional norms and cultivating a more scholarly identity. Despite, or probably due to, the increasing importance of (top-tier) publications — think of […]

Digital visibility is king but what colour is our Open Access future?

Open access publishing is growing increasinly important so the Peer Project has built an observatory to investigate potential effects of a major switch to open access models. Julia Wallace finds that the scholarly web is a complex environment where author self-deposit rates are likely to be low and usage scenarios for green open access are more complex than generally acknowledged.   Supported […]

Scholars are quickly moving toward a universe of web-native communication

Jason Priem, Judit Bar-Ilan, Stefanie Haustein, Isabella Peters, Hadas Shema, and Jens Terliesner get a sense of how established the academic presence is online, and how an individual academic online profile can stand up to traditional measurements of number of publications and citations. Traditionally, scholarly impact and visibility have been measured by counting publications and citations in the scholarly literature. […]

The demise of the Impact Factor: The strength of the relationship between citation rates and IF is down to levels last seen 40 years ago

Jobs, grants, prestige and career advancement are all partially based on an admittedly flawed concept: the journal Impact Factor. Impact factors have been becoming increasingly meaningless since 1991, writes George Lozano, who finds that the variance of papers’ citation rates around their journals’ IF has been rising steadily. Thomson Reuters assigns most journals a yearly Impact Factor (IF), which is […]

Titles are the hardest thing: How can we make them more effective?

James Hartley argues that new large-scale research on titles doesn’t tell us much more than we already know. Effective titles attract and inform readers, and do this in a variety of different ways.   A colleague in my department thinks that if he uses a colon in the title of an article he is writing then the article will be […]

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