We are now just weeks away from launching the new Research Information System (RIS). Over the next week or so we will be releasing the test system for use with some departments in order to gather further user feedback and to begin introducing the system.
development team are currently finalising functionality that will enable admin
users to model various scenarios and calculate a GPA for the UoA within
seconds. This will be particularly helpful for colleagues as we move towards a
continuous assessment approach ahead of submission in November 2020.
to development work, we are liaising with stakeholders around the use of
notifications (in RIS and via email) in order increase visibility in areas such
as open access compliance.
work will be completed to implement notifications and we will also be testing
the new GPA calculator functionality. The team will also be ensuring alignment
between the new RIS and the PDR system.
with colleagues on the migration of Impact and Environment documents, we plan
to use the latest items submitted as part of the State of Play update in September
to the system. Authors will then be able to add further items such as evidence
once the system is live.
Feedback and get involved
Colleagues are welcome to come and
view the current stages of development in Faraday, Singleton or to attend
bi-weekly showcase meetings where the development team demo the new system, to
provide an opportunity for colleagues and inform future developments.
A researcher recently brought the site Publons to our attention as a good way to get credit for the often unseen and uncredited work of peer reviewing for publication. Publons states their mission as follows:
Publons works with the world’s top publishers so you can effortlessly track, verify and showcase your peer review contributions across the world’s journals. It’s all part of our plan to speed up science and research and give the experts involved in peer review the recognition they deserve.
Swansea University has an institutional profile page too – Swansea University. Publons were great at removing a duplicate profile we’d got for “University of Wales, Swansea” so all our researchers are now in one place.
Our “7 Days of Twitter” course was “aimed at Swansea University researchers, staff and students who wish to learn more about Twitter in the context of research and boosting your research impact”. We have no plans at present to re-run the course but all the material is freely available to work through at any time (and if you tweet us – @rscsam or @benfelen – we’d still be delighted to hear from you!). A reminder of what the course covered:
Here’s a short video which explains what Kudos offers:
In a nutshell the advantages of Kudos are:
“Explain” = a user-friendly page to contextualize and promote an article or book, re-wording its content in a more accessible format (“What it’s about”, “Why it’s important”) and linking to any additional resources (blog posts, videos etc.) = “Enrich“. For example, if an article is available open access on Cronfa then that could be an additional link to include.
“Share” this page with your networks, via email or on a website/blog. This step is critical: you will need to get the page out to the world in order to reap the benefits!
Use Kudos to “measure” activity around the publication: see this video for further details on what stats Kudos can provide.
The value of Kudos relies on the researcher taking the time to enrich a Kudos page for a publication and then promote the resulting page to an existing network. It could be a useful tool for promoting papers for maximum impact – the ability to provide a layperson’s version is particularly useful. Opinions welcome in the comments!
We are running some sessions for postgraduate students this term on raising your online research profile. This post is a summary of some of the topics we will be discussing. (It could also have a subtitle: “How many places do I have to keep up to date?!?”)
Establishing your identity
Distinguishing yourself and your publications is vital not only so people can discover your work and give you credit for it, but also for the accuracy of bibliometrics for your work:
ORCID has become the de-facto standard researcher identifier, adopted by many funding bodies, publishers and other organisations. We have it embedded in Swansea University systems for staff; it can also be used to set up an ImpactStory profile (see below). Sign up at ORCID.org : we have a guide (PDF) if you need one.
Google Scholar profile: gather your publications on Google Scholar to get a neat profile page (example) and citation stats. Improves discoverability of your work – your name becomes a hyperlink to your profile in Google Scholar results. We have a guide (PDF) if you need one.
Scopus ID: Scopus is mighty Elsevier database (login needed off campus) has a STEM focus but is expanding its coverage of other subject areas. It is the source of bibliometrics for university world rankings and other assessments. Check your papers are credited to you and you also get useful stats on your citations and profile. We have a guide (PDF) if you need one to curating your profile there.
Researcher ID: this originated in the Web of Science database, another (rival) source of bibliometrics. See a sample profile and ensure you are credited with all your papers on Web of Science. We have a guide (PDF) if you need one.
As well as general social networking sites such as Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn, the sites with a specific academic focus can act as a “shop window” for your research and publications. Most come with their own set of pros and cons, mostly relating to how predatory and spammy the site becomes once you have set up a profile…
Academia.edu: https://www.academia.edu/ The largest network but possibly not the most active. Encourages connections and uploading of publications. Despite the .edu domain, the site is a for-profit company.
ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net; build a network and add your publications. Like Academia.edu, the site encourages uploading of full text – most of this does not comply with publisher copyright permissions so act with caution. The Wikipedia article highlights the main criticisms of the site, most notably the aggressive email approach it has taken to lure new members.
Piirus: https://www.piirus.ac.uk/ Linked to the jobs.ac.uk portal, the site promotes membership to develop your networking and consultancy opportunities.
Also in this section are what Katy Jordan terms “modified academic tools”, sites which have a practical purpose but which have also developed networking facilities:
Mendeley: now owned by Elsevier, the site is increasingly being promoted as a network as well as a reference management tool.
Zotero: another reference management tool which has a “People” facility too
Getting started on social media (for researchers)
Use of social media to promote one’s research and boost impact is a huge topic of debate. The LSE Impact blog has many posts relating to different aspects of the pros and cons for engaging on platforms such as Twitter. This also relates to the use of altmetrics which we have discussed elsewhere.
We have been pushing the message hard about the new REF open access policy but open access has many benefits beyond compliance. Evidence piles up that it can lead to increased impact and citations because people everywhere can read your work, not just the privileged elite with access to expensive journal subscriptions. So if you have uploaded a version of your paper to our repository RIS and it’s now available to download in Cronfa, here are a few suggestions of what you could do next to send it out into the world to get read…
What link to share?
Cronfa pages have reliable URLs and include the DOI (where available) to the published article too e.g. http://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa25191 so if your article is only open access on Cronfa, share the link to that page:
Of course, if your paper is published “Gold” open access then using the DOI to link to the publisher site is preferred.
Ideas for promoting an article
Include the link to your “Latest paper:” in your email signature
Link to your paper on a LinkedIn profile (and/or post to any relevant LinkedIn groups)
Uploading a copy of your paper to sites such as Academia.Edu or ResearchGate is not often permitted by publishers as these are commercial sites, however you can link to the open access version from profiles there.
Ensure your paper is added to any online profiles you maintain (e.g. ORCID, ResearcherID, Google Scholar) and include a link to the open access version where possible.
If you are attending or presenting at a conference, tweet a link to your paper when appropriate with the conference hashtag (or get someone else to do it for you if you aren’t on Twitter). If you are presenting a poster or have any paper handouts, create a short URL to share.
Sharing links on social media is ideal – altmetrics can help you explore who is talking about your paper OR papers on similar topics. Use the Altmetric bookmarklet to access stats (or many publisher sites now include them). For example, using the Altmetric bookmarklet on this Cronfa article takes you to this site where you can see all the places where the article has been discussed online. If your research relates to this topic, there are articles or blog posts which could be commented on (with a link to your paper) or social media accounts which may be interested in your paper too.
Promoting your article online requires some tact and diplomacy – ideally you will already be part of mutually-supportive online networks! If not, are there departmental / College / research groups or other accounts which could promote your work for you? Make sure they know about your newly open access paper.
What other ideas could be shared? Anything that has worked well for you? Let us know in the comments!
And: a few select links for more on promoting your research paper (& boosting impact in general):
Scival have recently introduced an Economic Impact measure which you can find in the Overview section of the tool. This uses information from around the world to find patents which cite publications from Swansea University, potentially showing an effect on industry. As there is an 18 month time lag between a patent being applied for and being published it won’t show an effect for very recent publications.
It is possible to filter by patent office so you can look at just the UK, Europe, Japan, US or worldwide.
We are taking part in two sessions this week on the topic of altmetrics, “the creation and study of new metrics based on the Social Web for analyzing, and informing scholarship”. See the altmetrics manifesto for the original explanation and justification; the Wikipedia article has further background. Reasons why altmetrics are worthy of a researcher’s attention and time:
Discover who may be talking about your research online
Discover what is being said about similar research in your field (with a view to interesting them in your own research or evaluating its impact)
Compiling evidence of research / impact either on a personal or a project level. Altmetrics are a measure of attention (not quality), which could also be said of traditional citation counts, so should be contextualized where possible.
No altmetrics available? This FAQ related to the Altmetric donut gives some reasons why this may be so: they didn’t start collecting activity until 2011, not all journals are supported and not all articles have a recognizable identifier (or DOI).
Books and book chapters are also not currently well supported for altmetrics although there are developments in this area such as the Springer “Bookmetrix” portal.
Can your boost your own altmetrics?
Altmetrics register online activity. No researcher would want to be accused of “gaming” their metrics yet all researchers are encouraged to maximize their impact and to promote their research themselves as much as possible.
Researchers with an existing active online network and understanding of the world of social media will inevitably be at an advantage here. However there are also others who may be on social media already who can help: the publisher, the institution and/or research office, collaborators or community / commercial partnerships.
There is much on the web about maximizing research impact using social media. Here are some examples, including several from the LSE Impact blog which publishes frequently and reliably on this topic:
Journal citation reports can be used to find out the impact factor for a journal. This is a useful way of finding quality journals where your article is more likely to be cited (although it only covers science and social sciences). Our brief guide will get you started and you can find some training videos on the Thomson web site.
The latest edition has just been released, covering journal analysis for2014. 272 new journals have been added. There are some new metrics and an open access filter allowing people to look specifically at open access journals.
Once you have a list of the journals for your subject you can select the open access option to see which are the best performing open access journals for your area.
Want to know more?
Here are a few links to information to give you a flavour of the issues surrounding JCR and Impact Factors:
Jamie, Public Engagement Officer at the University of Glasgow and former scientist, gave an entertaining talk on this topic at the university yesterday. Here are some of his key points, sadly expressed more dully than they were by him:
Remember that people are not as interested in your research as you are. Jamie practised his communication skills at the Glasgow Science Centre and found that people will walk away if you don’t interest them. Find an angle which will appeal to your audience. Jamie was researching materials for energy harvesting but found it was easier to start a conversation on related topics which people could relate to such as using body heat to power a mobile phone.
Being able and willing to talk can bring opportunities. The Science Council named him as one of the top hundred scientists – an accolade he insists he didn’t deserve but came through being well known. Keep a record of what you have done so that you have evidence of your achievements.
Make it a mutually beneficial experience. Think what you would like to gain, for example, evidence for your research or experience in presenting. Also think what attendees might like to gain. For example, if they are members of the public at a museum they may want to be entertained. If they are asylum seekers they may want to feel they are achieving a purpose and you could consider going back to explain outcomes to them.
Consider costs of engagement when applying for funding. There are opportunities to apply for money for outreach, public engagement or for training for your team. Research Councils UK (RCUK) now encourage this as part of ‘Pathway to Impact’ statements’. You should ensure you cost all your public engagement and outreach activities within this section of the grant application: they will consider costs for travel, evaluation, presenters and staff.
Impact means causing a change. Jamie felt that it can be difficult to understand REF type impact and how you can generate impact from public engagement activities. Some people think that it means things like making a TV programme, but demonstrating the impact or change from this is difficult to measure. Try to ensure that your engagement has some benefit– it could be interest from the public, new skills for the researcher, children inspired to go to university etc. This could lead to REF type impact though proving change is not easy.
Know your starting point and measure! It is difficult to measure the impact of public engagement. If you are going to demonstrate a change you need to keep a baseline of how things were when you started. Try to record everything you can. Count the number of people you speak to and the time you spend with them. You could ask questions and record the answers, ask people for a show of hands or use electronic voting to get feedback. If you speak to someone in depth keep a transcript.
Make any measurement relevant to your aims – avoid long questionnaires with irrelevant questions about catering etc. Questions such as “Did you know about this before” can give evidence of change. Think of fun ways to capture the information you want. Jamie gave examples he has seen such as voting with ping pong balls, hitting shuttle cocks into an umbrella to give the correct answer, this was used to find out how long people take to get to work, and a graffiti wall filled with post it notes which looked like a work of art.
Engagement doesn’t have to be public speaking. There are many ways to engage with the public, presenting at festivals, hosting events, activities or social media being one of the easiest mediums with the widest reach. Jamie in his entertaining style said he could think of many academics he might not want to put in front of an audience of children! He produced an online periodic table showing the countries where elements were discovered which produced a great deal of interest. Blogging is another way of presenting your research to a wider audience or you could produce an accessible summary of your research on a web page. It also doesn’t have to be the general public. There may be sensitive topics such as mental health where you could engage with charities for mutual benefit.
My only regret about the talk was that he didn’t give us a demonstration of his “science of salsa” dance!”