The Research Information Network has released a new report which investigates the complexities of using bibliometrics to measure research output and impact. The report warns of the pitfalls and dangers of using this data without a full awareness of the significant variations in results where different data sources or different methodologies are used.
In fact, the RIN commissioned this report because “… figures provided in various reports for the UK’s share of the world’s production of scientific publications vary enormously. That a seemingly straightforward figure should show such volatility perplexed us …”.
The report is available to download from the RIN website.
An article published today in Nature discusses how the use of metrics could be improved to assess individuals more fairly. You can find it at http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v465/n7300/full/465870a.html
A new federal project aims to provide evidence of return on US investment in science. Julia Lane, Director of the Science of Science and Innovation Programme believes manual reporting is inefficient and puts a burden on academics. The study will use citations and patents to monitor the impact of research in a similar way to that originally proposed for the UK REF.
The full story can be found at Chemistry World from the RSC http://18.104.22.168/chemistryworld/News/2010/June/04061002.asp
Making an impact: using Journal Citation Reports and other tools to measure the impact of your research.
Thursday 10th June, 11 am-12, PC Room 3 in the Library
This session will look at the ways you can monitor the impact your publications are having, especially useful when considering the REF. We will also look at Researcher ID as a way of raising your own profile, Journal citation reports, Web of Science facilities such as cited reference searching , citation mapping, times cited, citation alerts and amending your own author name entry if necessary.
To book a place please e-mail Michele.Davies@swansea.ac.uk
If you are interested in this topic but unable to make this session your subject librarian would be happy to arrange something for you http://www.swansea.ac.uk/lis/HelpandGuides/SubjectTeams/
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.
HEFCE have recently published: “Interim report of the REF bibliometrics pilot exercise”. The full report is due out Autumn 2009, but this makes interesting reading. It looks at possible models, and some of the limitations of using bibliometrics. It would seem that the REF Expert Advisory Groups see bibliometrics more as a “useful aid to expert review”, and that this might vary according to the discipline.