Blog Archives

A brief history of your h-index

Join campus Columbo Professor Jeff Ollerton on an intrepid adventure to calculate the evolution* of his Web of Science h-index, using nothing more than an online database, an export file and a copy of Excel and some coffee.

It’s unfortunate that this isn’t a built-in function, because it’s interesting information that wouldn’t be too difficult for WoS to provide. But Jeff has a straightforward* procedure for extracting and presenting the data, and his post also discusses the value of the exercise beyond academic curiosity.

* Use of term may not be scientifically accurate. Sorry, Jeff.

Journal Citation Reports – 2013 data now available

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

Spotting the ‘predatory’ publisher

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.

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Citation data and metrics in Google Scholar

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.

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Journal Citation Reports: 2012 data now available

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).

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Mendeley bought by Elsevier

Are you a Mendeley user?

If so, you may be interested to see what happens now that Mendeley has been bought out by Elsevier.

At £65m the benefits to the creators of Mendeley are clear to see, but how will its user community fare under the new ownership?  There seem to be some concerns among academics that Mendeley will lose some of its independence and openness – you can follow the discussion here.

Update 16/4/2013: Further discussion from Research Information here.

Thanks to Ray Kent from De Montfort University for sharing this news on the JISCmail MORE list.

Increasing your citation count – a how-to guide

FAQ: How can I ensure my work is highly cited?

As a researcher there are a number of ways you can give your citation counts a boost, here are some suggestions.

Content is key

  • Produce a piece of well written, top quality, original research.  This is essential.

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Another one bites the dust…

There are a number of potentially useful reference management tools on the web – Mendeley, CiteULike, Zotero and Connotea spring to mind.  The best of these offer a range of other services, such as full text uploads, social bookmarking and a variety of other networking opportunities for researchers.

But can you trust these sites? Will your data be secure and are you sure that you will be able to access them when you need to?

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Assessing journal quality – alternatives to JCR

Journal Citation Reports (JCR) is the definitive source for journal impact factors, probably the most widely recognised quality indicators for journals.  But what do you do if your subject area is not well covered by JCR or you would like to see some alternative metrics?

There are a number of  tools available.  These use a combination of citation analysis, peer review and ranking algorithms to facilitate the evaluation of journals in a range of subject areas.

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New resource: Journal Citation Reports

Good news!  The University now has a subscription to the sector’s leading tool for assessing the impact and prestige of scholarly journals:  Journal Citation Reports (otherwise known as JCR).

Based on citation data from journals indexed by Thomson Reuters, JCR calculates and reports the impact factors that are boasted of and aspired to by publishers and editors of academic journals.  For researchers, they can provide a rough and ready measure of journal quality and answer the oft-asked question of “where should I publish if I want my work to have the highest impact?”.

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