Recent years have seen an increase in the use of metrics for research assessment. Whether using citation data to support REF scores, calculating an h-index to compare researchers or research groups, or choosing a journal according to its impact factor, researchers, their managers and their funders have become increasingly reliant on quantitative evaluation.
On the face of it, an h-index is an attractive proposition: just one number to sum up both the quantity and the quality of a researcher’s output. Likewise, a journal’s impact factor distils the reputation of the journal into a single metric. Unfortunately, for evaluating the quality of research, many would say that these are reductionist at best and, at worst, fundamentally flawed.
There are now five new interactive tutorials on the Skills Hub. You will find them in a new section ‘Postgraduate Research Skills‘ on the ‘Academic Skills‘ tab.
- Author bibliometrics – examines the key author bibliometrics and their use
- Journal bibliometrics – explores the use of impact factors and other metrics for ranking journals
- Journals and articles – addresses your publication strategy, journal types and what makes a ‘good’ paper
- Other forms of publishing – covers posters, exhibitions, creative works, website authoring and Open Access publishing
- Networking – making the most of face to face and online networking with fellow researchers
Next week (October 19th to 25th) is international Open Access Week. It is a great time to catch up on what open access means for you and your research. Here at Northampton we will mark the occasion with a series of posts on the subject of open access throughout the research lifecycle. These will expand on the guide we produced earlier this year and will hopefully answer some of the questions you may have. Look out for them here on the Research Support Hub.
Other organisations are celebrating Open Access Week with various events, including a number of webinars which are, of course, open to everyone. Why not check out some of these?
“Academics seem to be obsessed with metrics of all kinds at the moment, and I’m certainly not immune to it as my recent post on the h-index demonstrated. So I was intrigued by a new (at least to me) browser plug-in that gives you instant altmetrics such as number of times mentioned on Twitter, Facebook or on news outlets, or cited in blogs, policy documents, Wikipedia, etc. …”
Read more about his experience with the Altmetric bookmarklet in Professor Jeff Ollerton’s blog.
We have a range of workshops running in February, open to Postgraduate Research Students and Early Career Researchers at UN. They include short 2 hour workshops in qualitative and quantitative data analysis, a CV workshop and bibliometrics. Longer sessions include a presentation skills day for those of you presenting at conferences this year, plus Hugh Kearns will be visiting us again to help you tackle self-sabotage – procrastination, ‘too busy’ syndrome and disorganisation. His seminar will help you to understand why your thesis or research isn’t getting done and what you can do about it. Read the rest of this entry
Thomson Reuters have just released a new version of Journal Citation Reports (JCR), now including 2013 citation data. Please do take a look to see how your preferred journals have fared over the last year.
JCR lists impact factors and other bibliometrics for journals in the sciences and social sciences. For further information about the service please see my previous post.
You can access Journal Citation Reports via the A-Z list of databases, a university login is required.
Photo credit: HeppDesigns
FAQ: A publisher I haven’t heard of has invited me to submit a paper to their journal. How do I know that they are reputable?
Following the publication of the Finch Report and the subsequent actions of the Research Councils, HEFCE and others, there is more pressure than ever for researchers to ensure that their published outputs are made available to all. This has prompted publishers, both established and new, to reconsider their business models and provide new open access publishing options to researchers.
I have written before about how to find an open access journal for your article, but what happens if the publisher approaches you?
Based on the queries I’ve received from researchers, there seem to be two areas of concern.
Google Scholar has offered basic metrics data for some time, but the service has seen some interesting developments recently that make it easy to discover highly-cited journals and articles for a wide selection of academic disciplines.
Thomson Reuters have just released the 2012 Edition of Journal Citation Reports (JCR).
Eagerly awaited by editors and publishers alike, JCR is the authoritative source of journal impact factors for nearly 11,000 peer reviewed journals.
In this edition some 379 journals have received their first impact factor and 66 have had theirs suppressed due to ‘anomolous citation patterns’ (JCR Notices).