Category: Analysis

Working to the rule – How bibliometric targets distorted Italian research [Originally published in LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog in November/2019]

As Goodhart’s law states: “when a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure”. Using bibliometrics to measure and assess researchers has become increasingly common, but does implementing these policies therefore devalue the metrics they are based on? In this post Alberto Baccini, Giuseppe De Nicolao and Eugenio Petrovich, present evidence from a study of Italian researchers revealing how the introduction of bibliometric targets into the Italian academy has changed the way Italian academics cite and use the work of their colleagues. Read More →

A look at peer review of grant proposals

The scholarly peer review tracking platform Publons has launched the Grant Review in Focus on project assessment and identification for funding. Four thousand and seven hundred researchers were interviewed as well as data extracted from Web of Science. Read More →

Google Scholar, Web of Science or Scopus, which gives us better indexing coverage?

Recent analysis of the indexing coverage of the Google Scholar, Web of Science, and Scopus databases shows that higher values do not always mean higher quality or better indexing, as the inclusion of more lower-quality or lower-impact documents may reflect in other aspects of the analysis and, depending on the type of assessment, it should be necessary to eliminate certain types of documents from the citation count. Read More →

Transparency: What Can One Learn from a Trove of Invoices? [Originally published in the Scholarly Kitchen blog in November/2019]

A new dataset from the Gates Foundation offers insights into author choices and APC pricing. Read More →

Accelerating scholarly communication via preprints

There are more than 60 preprint servers worldwide. It seems to be a trend, but the model still has problems and unresolved issues, both in terms of digital preservation and financing and collaboration of its technological solutions. It would be important for funding agencies to find out how to support these proposals. Read More →

How to write an academic review? [Originally published in DADOS’ blog in July/2019]

The purpose of this post is to outline what a reviewer should consider before writing an assessment. In it, we discuss issues such as the importance of writing reviews, the types of possible reviews, what to do when detecting a conflict of interest, etc. Read More →

Journal Indexing: Core standards and why they matter [Originally published in LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog in August/2019]

The ways in which journals are indexed online is essential to how they can be searched for and found. Inclusion in certain indexes is also closely linked to quality assessment, with research funders often requiring their grantees to publish in outlets listed in certain indexes. In this post Danielle Padula explains the importance of good journal indexing and how journals that apply key standards can increase the reach and impact of their publications. Read More →

Open Science and the new research communication modus operandi – Part II

The adopting process of open science modus operandi involves all phases, actors, and political and institutional research instances. In research projects, openness is organized and pervasive throughout the entire research cycle. This post provides an overview of the openness process, content, and research outcomes in light of the SciELO Program’s priority lines of action. It is divided into two parts. See Part I here. Read More →

Open Science and the new research communication modus operandi – Part I

The adopting process of open science modus operandi involves all phases, actors, and political and institutional research instances. In research projects, openness is organized and pervasive throughout the entire research cycle. This post provides an overview of the openness process, content, and research outcomes in light of the SciELO Program’s priority lines of action. It is divided into two parts. See Part II here. Read More →

Open Access Plans — S, T, U, so far

Things do seem to be moving in Open Access (OA). First there was Plan S, proposed by science funders in the European Union, then a proposal to fund OA from submission fees rather than article processing charges, (perhaps flippantly) called Plan T, and now, in alphabetical sequence, Plan U. All three have strong merits, but Plan U has the best chance of succeeding and offers the most to the scientific community. Read More →

What is Plan U: Universal access to scientific research via preprints?

Plan U proposes that funding agencies require recipients of research funds to publish scholarly communications on preprints servers, regardless of the alternative publication forms that researchers may subsequently make. The initiative could be carried out with a fraction of the current costs and would produce a significant acceleration of the pace of discoveries in the forthcoming years. Read More →

Promoting and accelerating research data sharing

The State of Open Data 2018 report surveyed researchers from all continents on the motives, habits, knowledge, and practices of data sharing. The results, compared to the 2016 and 2017 reports, provide relevant information on the evolution of open research data around the world as well as how to strengthen this practice in academia so that it achieves the expected results. Read More →

The gold rush: Why open access will boost publisher profits [Originally published in LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog in June/2019]

An important justification for transitioning from a subscription based journal publishing system to an open access journal publishing system, has been that whereas printing and distributing physical copies of journals is an expensive process, the cost of digital publication and dissemination are marginal. In this post Shaun Khoo argues that whilst a shift to gold (pay to publish) open access would deliver wider access to research, the lack of price sensitivity amongst academics presents a risk that they will be locked into a new escalating pay to publish system that could potentially be more costly to researchers than the previous subscription model. Read More →

Journals that increased their APC value received more submissions

One of the expected contributions of Open Access (OA) was to resolve the disproportionate increase of scholarly journals’ subscriptions. Nevertheless, one of the major business models for commercial journal publishing is to charge authors a publication fee known as Article Processing Charge (APC). This rate, in the last five years, has risen more than inflation. However, counterintuitively, it seems that the authors are far from reducing their submissions due to increase of APC values, rather, submissions are increasing, and the more expensive the APC, the more articles the journals have been receiving. Read More →

Perspectives on the open access discovery landscape [Originally published in the Jisc Scholarly Communications blog in April/2019]

Open access discovery tools enable users to find scholarly articles that are available in open form, whether on a publisher’s website or elsewhere. This is a technically-challenging endeavour and also requires a deep understanding of the scholarly communications landscape, the underpinning infrastructure and the needs of widely different stakeholder groups such as researchers, publishers, service providers and the general public. Read More →