The Research Information Network (RIN) recently published a report on the effects of measures to evaluate the worth of research upon the publishing and citing behaviour of academic researchers. The report, “Communicating knowledge: how and why UK researchers publish and disseminate their findings“, finds that many are confused as to what the various funding bodies expect of them in terms of communicating their research. Most would appreciate better guidance as to how this will impact upon any assessment of their work.
- What factors influence decisions on the timing of publication and dissemination of research? Is it better to publish in the high status journal or to communicate more directly with the people most interested in the topic of the research?
- How do patterns vary across the disciplines?
- What place have the perceived requirements for research assessment occupied in the full range of factors that have influenced publication and citation behaviour?
A variety of methods, including focus groups and online questionnaires, were used to consider these and other questions. The report found that many reserachers are apparently considering citing their colleagues’ work more often because of the introduction of bibliometrics. Some researchers also said they felt they were being pressurised into publishing too much, too soon.