Attention decay in science

« The exponential growth in the number of scientific papers makes it increasingly difficult for researchers to keep track of all the publications relevant to their work. Consequently, the attention that can be devoted to individual papers, measured by their citation counts, is bound to decay rapidly. In this work we make a thorough study of the life-cycle of papers in different disciplines. Typically, the citation rate of a paper increases up to a few years after its publication, reaches a peak and then decreases rapidly. This decay can be described by an exponential or a power law behavior, as in ultradiffusive processes, with exponential fitting better than power law for the majority of cases. The decay is also becoming faster over the years, signaling that nowadays papers are forgotten more quickly. However, when time is counted in terms of the number of published papers, the rate of decay of citations is fairly independent of the period considered. This indicates that the attention of scholars depends on the number of published items, and not on real time. »

URL : http://arxiv.org/abs/1503.01881

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The Open Access Advantage Considering Citation, Article Usage and Social Media Attention

« In this study, we compare the difference in the impact between open access (OA) and non-open access (non-OA) articles. 1761 Nature Communications articles published from 1 Jan. 2012 to 31 Aug. 2013 are selected as our research objects, including 587 OA articles and 1174 non-OA articles. Citation data and daily updated article-level metrics data are harvested directly from the platform of nature.com. Data is analyzed from the static versus temporal-dynamic perspectives. The OA citation advantage is confirmed, and the OA advantage is also applicable when extending the comparing from citation to article views and social media attention. More important, we find that OA papers not only have the great advantage of total downloads, but also have the feature of keeping sustained and steady downloads for a long time. For article downloads, non-OA papers only have a short period of attention, when the advantage of OA papers exists for a much longer time. »

URL : http://arxiv.org/abs/1503.05702

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Availability and accessibility in an open access institutional repository: a case study

« Introduction. This study explores the extent to which an institutional repository (IR) makes papers available and accessible on the open web by using 170 journal articles housed in DigiNole Commons, the IR at Florida State University.

Method. To analyze the IR’s impact on availability and accessibility, we conducted independent known-item title searches on both Google and Google Scholar (GS) to search for faculty publications housed in DigiNole Commons.

Analysis. The extent to which the IR makes articles available and accessible was measured quantitatively, and the findings that cannot be summarized with numbers were analyzed qualitatively.

Results. Google and GS searches provided links to DigiNole metadata for a total of 145 (85.3%) of 170 items, and to full texts for 96 (96%) of 100 items. With one exception, access to either metadata or full text required no more than three clicks.

Conclusions. Overall, the results confirm the contribution of the IR in making papers available and accessible. The results also reveal some impediments to the success of OA: including impediments linked to contractual arrangements between authors and publishers, impediments linked to policies, practices, and technologies governing the IR itself, and the low level of faculty participation in the IR. »

URL : http://diginole.lib.fsu.edu/slis_faculty_publications/27/

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Will Open Access Get Me Cited? An Analysis of the Efficacy of Open Access Publishing in Political Science

« The digital revolution has made it easier for political scientists to share and access high-quality research online. However, many articles are stored in proprietary databases that some institutions cannot afford. High-quality, peer-reviewed, top-tier journal articles that have been made open access (OA) (i.e., freely available online) theoretically should be accessed and cited more easily than articles of similar quality that are available only to paying customers. Research into the efficacy of OA publishing thus far has focused mainly on the natural sciences, and the results have been mixed. Because OA has not been as widely adopted in the social sciences, disciplines such as political science have received little attention in the OA research. In this article, we seek to determine the efficacy of OA in political science. Our primary hypothesis is that OA articles will be cited at higher rates than articles that are toll access (TA), which means available only to paying customers. We test this hypothesis by analyzing the mean citation rates of OA and TA articles from eight top-ranked political science journals. We find that OA publication results in a clear citation advantage in political science publishing. »

URL : http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1049096514001668

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Return on citation: a consistent metric to evaluate papers, journals and researchers

« Evaluating and comparing the academic performance of a journal, a researcher or a single paper has long remained a critical, necessary but also controversial issue. Most of existing metrics invalidate comparison across different fields of science or even between different types of papers in the same field. This paper proposes a new metric, called return on citation (ROC), which is simply a citation ratio but applies to evaluating the paper, the journal and the researcher in a consistent way, allowing comparison across different fields of science and between different types of papers and discouraging unnecessary and coercive/self-citation. »

URL : http://arxiv.org/abs/1412.8420

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Cartographie des connaissances pour une visibilité scientifique numérique des universités africaines : le cas de l’Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar (Ucad)

« Cet article présente les enjeux de la visibilité numérique de l’activité scientifique des universités africaines. Il part d’un constat selon lequel celles-ci sous le poids de la massification et du rétrécissement des moyens négligent un pan entier de leur mission : la recherche. Ceci contraste avec ce besoin de visibilité scientifique, gage de reconnaissance internationale. À partir d’une étude bibliométrique, cet article analyse l’état de déliquescence de la recherche à l’UCAD tout en essayant de démontrer l’opportunité qu’offrent l’édition numérique et l’Open Access. »

URL : http://icoa2014.sciencesconf.org/37916

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Can the impact of non-Western academic books be measured? An investigation of Google Books and Google Scholar for Malaysia

« Citation indicators are increasingly used in book-based disciplines to support peer review in the evaluation of authors and to gauge the prestige of publishers. However, because global citation databases seem to offer weak coverage of books outside the West, it is not clear whether the influence of non-Western books can be assessed with citations. To investigate this, citations were extracted from Google Books and Google Scholar to 1,357 arts, humanities and social sciences (AHSS) books published by 5 university presses during 1961–2012 in 1 non-Western nation, Malaysia. A significant minority of the books (23% in Google Books and 37% in Google Scholar, 45% in total) had been cited, with a higher proportion cited if they were older or in English. The combination of Google Books and Google Scholar is therefore recommended, with some provisos, for non-Western countries seeking to differentiate between books with some impact and books with no impact, to identify the highly-cited works or to develop an indicator of academic publisher prestige. »

URL : http://www.scit.wlv.ac.uk/~cm1993/papers/Univ_Press_Books_preprintx.pdf

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Open Access: pour une meilleure visibilité de la production scientifique médicale au Maroc

« Les bases de données internationales de l’Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) sont des outils incontournables mais incomplets pour évaluer la performance de la recherche et fournir des indicateurs statistiques sur le volume de la production scientifique d’un pays. Dans ce contexte, nous présenterons les résultats d’une étude bibliométrique de la production scientifique issue de la Faculté de Médecine et de Pharmacie-Casablanca. Nous mettrons l’accent sur les possibilités offertes par l’open access (la voie verte et la voie dorée) pour augmenter la visibilité de la production locale. »

URL : http://eprints.rclis.org/24187/

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The Dawn of Open Access to Phylogenetic Data

« The scientific enterprise depends critically on the preservation of and open access to published data. This basic tenet applies acutely to phylogenies (estimates of evolutionary relationships among species). Increasingly, phylogenies are estimated from increasingly large, genome-scale datasets using increasingly complex statistical methods that require increasing levels of expertise and computational investment. Moreover, the resulting phylogenetic data provide an explicit historical perspective that critically informs research in a vast and growing number of scientific disciplines. One such use is the study of changes in rates of lineage diversification (speciation – extinction) through time. As part of a meta-analysis in this area, we sought to collect phylogenetic data (comprising nucleotide sequence alignment and tree files) from 217 studies published in 46 journals over a 13-year period. We document our attempts to procure those data (from online archives and by direct request to corresponding authors), and report results of analyses (using Bayesian logistic regression) to assess the impact of various factors on the success of our efforts. Overall, complete phylogenetic data for of these studies are effectively lost to science. Our study indicates that phylogenetic data are more likely to be deposited in online archives and/or shared upon request when: (1) the publishing journal has a strong data-sharing policy; (2) the publishing journal has a higher impact factor, and; (3) the data are requested from faculty rather than students. Importantly, our survey spans recent policy initiatives and infrastructural changes; our analyses indicate that the positive impact of these community initiatives has been both dramatic and immediate. Although the results of our study indicate that the situation is dire, our findings also reveal tremendous recent progress in the sharing and preservation of phylogenetic data. »

URL : The Dawn of Open Access to Phylogenetic Data

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0110268

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Rise of the Rest: The Growing Impact of Non-Elite Journals

« In this paper, we examine the evolution of the impact of non-elite journals. We attempt to answer two questions. First, what fraction of the top-cited articles are published in non-elite journals and how has this changed over time. Second, what fraction of the total citations are to non-elite journals and how has this changed over time.
We studied citations to articles published in 1995-2013. We computed the 10 most-cited journals and the 1000 most-cited articles each year for all 261 subject categories in Scholar Metrics. We marked the 10 most-cited journals in a category as the elite journals for the category and the rest as non-elite.
There are two conclusions from our study. First, the fraction of top-cited articles published in non-elite journals increased steadily over 1995-2013. While the elite journals still publish a substantial fraction of high-impact articles, many more authors of well-regarded papers in diverse research fields are choosing other venues.
The number of top-1000 papers published in non-elite journals for the representative subject category went from 149 in 1995 to 245 in 2013, a growth of 64%. Looking at broad research areas, 4 out of 9 areas saw at least one-third of the top-cited articles published in non-elite journals in 2013. For 6 out of 9 areas, the fraction of top-cited papers published in non-elite journals for the representative subject category grew by 45% or more.
Second, now that finding and reading relevant articles in non-elite journals is about as easy as finding and reading articles in elite journals, researchers are increasingly building on and citing work published everywhere. Considering citations to all articles, the percentage of citations to articles in non-elite journals went from 27% in 1995 to 47% in 2013. Six out of nine broad areas had at least 50% of citations going to articles published in non-elite journals in 2013. »

URL : http://arxiv-web3.library.cornell.edu/abs/1410.2217

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