Author Archives: drsamoakley

About drsamoakley

Research Librarian at Swansea University

Responsible metrics & UK HE

HEFCE’s “Forum for the Responsible Use of Metrics” currently have open a survey for institutions (one response per institution is required) to find out how institutions are implementing policies on the responsible use of metrics:

Responses will be used in order to develop advice to the sector on practical ways to implement the culture of responsible research metrics using the principles/frameworks outlined above. It will also inform any recommendations the Forum makes to UKRI. Based on the responses received the Forum will consider whether to develop an agreement with similar ambitions to DORA, utilising The Metric Tide report, which aligns with the UK research base.

The Metric Tide report came out in 2015 and included recommendations for institutions (p.12ff). Some institutions have developed policies on responsible metrics – a list can be found at the top of this page on the Bibliomagician blog. Lizzie Gadd also published this article on the same blog which reports on her annual surveys of the bibliometrics community. It will be interesting to see if the HEFCE survey shows similar results.

Institutions are assessed partially on metrics for the world rankings and for some areas of the REF. Metrics can also be used for funding decisions, promotion, job applications, decisions on where to publish (e.g. using the Journal Impact Factor or other rankings of journals). This is more common in some subject areas and countries than others. If you want to learn more about responsible metrics, the Leiden Manifesto video is a good introduction to the issues:

The Leiden Manifesto for Research Metrics from Diana Hicks on Vimeo.

 

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Open Access & the REF: an update

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HEFCE announced further clarification on the rules for REF2021 yesterday (PDF here) and this included some decisions on outputs and open access (on p.8). Key points are:

  • The policy is felt to be working in that more papers than ever before have been made open access.
  • The original policy stands with respect to the timeframe for researchers to act: papers must be uploaded to RIS within 3 months of acceptance.
  • However, there will be an exception to cover papers that miss this deadline but are uploaded within 3 months of publication.

The rules around this crucial timing issue have varied during the REF period so a summary is given below:

Papers accepted for publication before 1 April 2016 do not need to comply with the REF open access policy in order to be submitted to the REF (however they are encouraged to be made open access).

Papers accepted for publication between 1 April 2016 and 1 April 2018 need to comply with the REF Open Access policy to be submitted: for this period, the full text of the article needed to be uploaded into RIS within 3 months of the date of online publication (unless the paper was published with Gold Open Access on the publisher site or one of the other exceptions can be applied). Papers that were not uploaded to RIS within 3 months of publication (or which failed to meet other conditions of the policy e.g. minimum embargo period) cannot be submitted to the REF.

Paper accepted for publication after 1 April 2018 will need to comply with the REF Open Access policy to be submitted: the full text of the paper must be uploaded into RIS within 3 months of acceptance for publication (unless the paper was published with Gold Open Access on the publisher site or one of the other exceptions can be applied). It will be possible to claim an exception for papers that miss this deadline but which are uploaded within 3 months of publication. Papers that are not uploaded to RIS within 3 months of publication (or which fail to meet other conditions of the policy e.g. minimum embargo period) cannot be submitted to the REF.

The Library Research Support team checks for REF compliance and reports on this to Research Directors & REF staff. We are currently seeing around 85-90% of papers complying with the REF Open Access policy. We will be doing further publicity in 2018 to ensure all researchers are aware of what they need to do and know that we will be glad to help with any questions: iss-research@swansea.ac.uk.

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Do metrics reflect your academic achievements?

A chess piece wearing a golden crown

Universities already have their world rankings (and some REF areas) assessed with metrics. Individual researchers may well find they are being asked about their own metrics. This post lists four places to check your bibliometric profile and consider how well it reflects your work. It’s worth doing this, particularly to identify where metrics may NOT be capturing what you consider your successes. Simply claiming “metrics don’t work” or have limitations for your area is not as effective as demonstrating it!

There is no one definitive place to get an accurate count of your publications and citations: each source listed below indexes a limited amount of scholarly content and the figures will reflect that. This is particularly a problem for subject areas that are not well covered (typically Humanities/Social Sciences) and which do not publish primarily journal articles. Older papers (and older citations) can also be missing, although content coverage seems to be expanding on most services.

Scopus

Swansea University has a subscription to Elsevier’s Scopus database which is the source used for university rankings and some REF UoAs. You will have a profile on Scopus if it has indexed at least one of your papers and it takes the affiliation of your most recent paper. If you have more than one profile, you need to correct this: there is a “Request Author Details Correction” on a profile page; it can take a few weeks for this to get processed.

On your author profile page you can see:

  • Total number of papers indexed by Scopus (you may want to consider what’s been missed)
  • Total number of citations to your papers on Scopus: sort your list of papers by “Cited By” to see your most highly cited (how many have not been cited at all?)
  • Your Scopus h-index
  • A graph showing citations over time: this will tail off as it takes time for citations to accrue

SciVal

Scival (another Elsevier product) uses the same citation data from Scopus to give you further statistics. SciVal uses a limited date range (check the top of the page for the options) so you may see less papers/citations on SciVal than on Scopus.

SciVal can tell you:

  • How many of your papers were in the top 10% most cited worldwide.
  • How many of your papers were published in the top 10% of journals: you need to select a journal metric for this: “CiteScore” is Elsevier’s version of the Journal Impact Factor; “SNIP” attempts to normalise for your subject area.
  • Your Field Weighted Citation Index: this metric should not be used if you have under 50 papers, and even for higher numbers should be treated with caution.

With both Scopus and SciVal metrics, you may wish to compare yourself against colleagues in the same field: comparisons across subject areas will not work as citation and publication patterns differ.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar does not give a detailed list of what it indexes which weakens its case for robust use of its metrics. However, it is much more comprehensive than Scopus or Incites in terms of content, particularly for Humanities and Social Science areas. Comparing your content here against Scopus can give an idea of how much is being missed when Scopus metrics are used.

To see your metrics you will need to create a profile (example here): there is a good guide here on the ImpactStory blog. You can then see:

  • Total citations
  • Your Google Scholar h-index
  • A graph of your citations over time

You can also use the “Follow” button to get alerted to new citations. Google Scholar gives a count of citations for each paper – click on the number to see what is being counted. This is likely to be (much) higher than on Scopus/Web of Science, partly because more book data is included but also perhaps some less scholarly sources.

The Publish or Perish software can be used to perform further analysis on Google Scholar data and Anne-Wil Harzing’s site has much information on how it can be used.

Incites

We have recently blogged about using Incites which is Clarivate Analytics’ citation analysis tool. It can also give you an author overview:

  • Citations
  • Which journals gave you the most citations
  • Areas of work which are most highly cited

Incites uses data from the Web of Science, so a different database with its own set of content. Comparisons suggest citations and coverage are roughly similar / slightly less than Scopus (Scopus is expanding its content – particularly book data – more rapidly).

Altmetrics: do they tell a different story?

The site ImpactStory can be used to set up a quick profile and gather your altmetrics, as well as some citation metrics. This may provide additional information on your scholarly activities – how does this compare with your citation metrics?

If you do explore your personal metrics, please let us know! We have been doing some work with specific departments on how well different sources of metrics represent their outputs and all evidence is useful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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All you need to know about metrics?

The range of metrics (or indicators) being used to measure research impact is growing and the issues around them are complex. If you are interested in exploring this area there is an excellent resource produced by 3 Irish academic libraries: MyRI Measuring your Research Impact.

The tutorial is particularly recommended: it is very thorough, considers all the pros and cons of the different metrics and has short videos of academics discussing how they are using (or not using) metrics. The MyRI tutorial is also available for re-use and adaptation under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 3.0 licence.

Swansea University has subscriptions to many of the products mentioned (you will need to click onto the “Online” tab to get the link that routes via our login):

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The REF Open Access policy is 1 year old

Birthday_Cake

Saturday 1st April 2017 marked the one year anniversary for the REF Open Access policy: this covers all journal articles and (some) conference proceedings accepted for publication after 1st April 2016. These papers must comply with HEFCE’s Open Access policy or they cannot be submitted to the REF.

Green Open Access on Cronfa

We have seen much progress around open access at Swansea University in the last year. Unsurprisingly, there has been a marked increase in papers made open access on our repository Cronfa: the REF policy is all about encouraging researchers to take advantage of publisher copyright policies that allow the accepted version of an article to be made public on a repository, known as “Green Open Access”.

The home page of Cronfa shows our latest full text additions, plus the most-downloaded articles of all time and the last week/month. Whilst Cronfa documents feed into the Core repository search portal and will turn up in Google search results, they are still not appearing regularly on Google Scholar. Reasons for this are not clear but we continue to investigate and are not alone in having this issue with our repository content. If you have an open access version of a paper on Cronfa circulating the URL to the open version ensures maximum impact.

Gold Open Access

We are also seeing many articles published with “Gold” (paid-for) open access. This is not essential for the REF Open Access policy (unless the chosen journal does not permit self-archiving to comply with the HEFCE policy). Whilst we do have money available for RCUK-funded publications, most of the Gold Open Access papers are paid for from research funding or other sources; Swansea University does not have an institutional fund for open access.

We have also seen 27 Swansea University authors take advantage of the excellent Springer deal for free open access in selected journals. This option is available to any staff or student who is corresponding author on a paper submitted to certain Springer journals.

REF Open Access Policy Compliance

For various reasons, it is difficult to give precise figures for REF Open Access compliance at this stage but our estimates suggest we are seeing strong levels of compliance (very rough estimate = 85-90%) for all papers that have been added to RIS (not just those that may be submitted to a future REF). There may be papers published by Swansea University authors but not yet added to RIS which would alter this estimate. The university’s own open access policy means that ALL publications should be made open access where possible, not just those that may be submitted to the REF.

Increased Support for Open Access

The Library Research Support Team expanded with 2 new posts in 2016 which reflects the additional reporting and compliance work around open access: Caroline Rauter is the Scholarly Communications Officer (c.rauter@swansea.ac.uk) and Penny Lauder is the Scholarly Communications Assistant (p.j.lauder@swansea.ac.uk). The team is managed by Annette Linton, Head of Library Content and Scholarly Communications (a.m.linton@swansea.ac.uk). We can be contacted on iss-research@swansea.ac.uk and more information on the support we offer can be found on our web pages. We work closely with staff in the Colleges on advocacy and support for open access.

The College of Engineering have also appointed Rebecca Kelleher as REF Officer (r.kelleher@swansea.ac.uk), who offers a REF compliant mediated deposit service to RIS/Cronfa for all staff in Engineering and Sport & Exercise Sciences and she also reports on Open Access compliance for the College.

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HEFCE’s REF Open Access policy tweaked again

 

HEFCE have recently made a further amendment to their open access policy for the next REF, extending the leniency for the first year until 1 April 2018, with a further review expected in autumn 2017.

The leniency refers only to the specific policy requirement on how soon authors must upload their files into RIS:

The policy continues to require that, in order to be eligible for submission to the REF, outputs must be deposited within three months of acceptance for publication, but we now plan that this requirement will apply to outputs accepted after Sunday 1 April 2018.

Outputs accepted between 1 April 2016 and 1 April 2018 must be deposited within three months of publication.

Given that HEFCE are still strongly advocating the message to deposit at acceptance and this is also the requirement of the university’s own open access policy, the key message to Swansea University researchers remains:

“Upload the accepted manuscript to RIS at acceptance!”

Link to the updated REF OA policy

Further information on open access for Swansea University researchers

Contact iss-research@swansea.ac.uk for help and guidance

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Staff info sessions this term: RIS, Open Access & Altmetrics

open-access-lock_jisc

Image copyright: JISC and Matt Lincoln, reused under CC BY-NC-ND licence

We will be continuing to support open access at Swansea University with a new series of information sessions this term for researchers. All researchers need to ensure their publications comply with the REF Open Access policy, the institutional policy and any funder policies. Not sure what you need to do? Come along and find out!

Open Access sessions

  • Open Access Briefing: Wed 12 Oct, 2-3pm, SURF Room Fulton House.
  • Open Access Briefing: Thur 3 Nov, 12-1pm, SURF Room Fulton House.
  • Open Access Briefing: Fri 25 Nov, 12-1pm, SURF Room Fulton House

Book the above 3 sessions here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/open-access-briefing-tickets-28355872177 

We’re also doing an “Open Access & REF” session tomorrow for Medicine and CHHS staff only as part of the Life Science Hub Seminar Series. The session is in ILS1 Seminar Room on Thur 6th Oct, 12.30-1.30pm.

Contact us on the email below if you’d like us to run a session for your department or research group.

Other training run as part of the Staff Development programme:

  • How to use RIS for Staff Publications: *Fri 7th Oct*, 1-2pm, SURF Room, Fulton House. Book via ABW
  • Who’s talking about your research? Using altmetrics to explore impact, opportunities and citations: Thur 20 Oct, 1-2pm, SURF Room, Fulton House. Book via ABW.

Agresso Business World (ABW) can be accessed via the university’s “Home” portal for staff (home.swan.ac.uk).

Contact us on iss-research@swansea.ac.uk if you have any questions about open access or using RIS.

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