Scientist impact factor (SIF): a new metric for improving scientists’ evaluation?

Authors : Giuseppe Lippi, Camilla Mattiuzzi

Background

The publication of scientific research is the mainstay for knowledge dissemination, but is also an essential criterion of scientists’ evaluation for recruiting funds and career progression.

Although the most widespread approach for evaluating scientists is currently based on the H-index, the total impact factor (IF) and the overall number of citations, these metrics are plagued by some well-known drawbacks. Therefore, with the aim to improve the process of scientists’ evaluation, we developed a new and potentially useful indicator of recent scientific output.

Methods

The new metric scientist impact factor (SIF) was calculated as all citations of articles published in the two years following the publication year of the articles, divided by the overall number of articles published in that year. The metrics was then tested by analyzing data of the 40 top scientists of the local University.

Results

No correlation was found between SIF and H-index (r=0.15; P=0.367) or 2 years H-index (r=−0.01; P=0.933), whereas the H-Index and 2 years H-index values were found to be highly correlated (r=0.57; P<0.001). A highly significant correlation was also observed between the articles published in one year and the total number of citations to these articles in the two following years (r=0.62; P<0.001).

Conclusions

According to our data, the SIF may be a useful measure to complement current metrics for evaluating scientific output. Its use may be especially helpful for young scientists, wherein the SIF reflects the scientific output over the past two years thus increasing their chances to apply to and obtain competitive funding.

URL : http://atm.amegroups.com/article/view/15375

 

Claims About Benefits of Open Access to Society (Beyond Academia)

Author : ElHassan ElSabry

This study tries to systematically identify claims about societal benefits of Open Access by analyzing different documents written by Open Access supporters. Three types of documents are used: key declarations and statements in support of Open Access, Open Access policies issued by public funding agencies and journal editorials announcing the adoption of Open Access.

Analysis shows these three types emphasize different benefits for Open Access as they address different audience. There is strong support of the idea that Open Access has benefits to different groups of people outside side the university/credentialed research institutes.

It is not clear how much evidence is available to support these claims, but identifying them would suggest new stakeholders to involve in the conversation and perhaps also inform the ongoing debate about who should bear the cost of Open Access.

URL : Claims About Benefits of Open Access to Society (Beyond Academia)

Alternative location : http://ebooks.iospress.nl/publication/46640

Opening Up Communication: Assessing Open Access Practices in the Communication Studies Discipline

Author : Teresa Auch Schultz

Introduction

Open access (OA) citation effect studies have looked at a number of disciplines but not yet the field of communication studies. This study researched how communication studies fare with the open access citation effect, as well as whether researchers follow their journal deposit policies.

Method

The study tracked 920 articles published in 2011 and 2012 from 10 journals and then searched for citations and an OA version using the program Publish or Perish. Deposit policies of each of the journals were gathered from SHERPA/RoMEO and used to evaluate OA versions.

Results

From the sample, 42 percent had OA versions available. Of those OA articles, 363 appeared to violate publisher deposit policies by depositing the version of record, but the study failed to identify post-print versions for 87 percent of the total sample for the journals that allowed it.

All articles with an OA version had a median of 17 citations, compared to only nine citations for non-OA articles.

Discussion & Conclusion

The citation averages, which are statistically significant, show a positive correlation between OA and the number of citations.

The study also shows communication studies researchers are taking part in open access but perhaps without the full understanding of their publisher’s policies.

URL : Opening Up Communication: Assessing Open Access Practices in the Communication Studies Discipline

DOI : http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2131

Understanding the Impact of Early Citers on Long-Term Scientific Impact

Authors : Mayank Singh, Ajay Jaiswal, Priya Shree, Arindam Pal, Animesh Mukherjee, Pawan Goyal

This paper explores an interesting new dimension to the challenging problem of predicting long-term scientific impact (LTSI) usually measured by the number of citations accumulated by a paper in the long-term.

It is well known that early citations (within 1-2 years after publication) acquired by a paper positively affects its LTSI. However, there is no work that investigates if the set of authors who bring in these early citations to a paper also affect its LTSI.

In this paper, we demonstrate for the first time, the impact of these authors whom we call early citers (EC) on the LTSI of a paper. Note that this study of the complex dynamics of EC introduces a brand new paradigm in citation behavior analysis.

Using a massive computer science bibliographic dataset we identify two distinct categories of EC – we call those authors who have high overall publication/citation count in the dataset as influential and the rest of the authors as non-influential.

We investigate three characteristic properties of EC and present an extensive analysis of how each category correlates with LTSI in terms of these properties. In contrast to popular perception, we find that influential EC negatively affects LTSI possibly owing to attention stealing.

To motivate this, we present several representative examples from the dataset. A closer inspection of the collaboration network reveals that this stealing effect is more profound if an EC is nearer to the authors of the paper being investigated.

As an intuitive use case, we show that incorporating EC properties in the state-of-the-art supervised citation prediction models leads to high performance margins.

At the closing, we present an online portal to visualize EC statistics along with the prediction results for a given query paper.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1705.03178

Reconsidering the gold open access citation advantage postulate in a multidisciplinary context: an analysis of the subject categories in the Web of Science database 2009-2014

Authors : Pablo Dorta-González,  Sara M. González-Betancor, María Isabel Dorta-González

Since Lawrence in 2001 proposed the open access (OA) citation advantage, the potential benefit of OA in relation to the citation impact has been discussed in depth.

The methodology to test this postulate ranges from comparing the impact factors of OA journals versus traditional ones, to comparing citations of OA versus non-OA articles published in the same non-OA journals.

However, conclusions are not entirely consistent among fields, and two possible explications have been suggested in those fields where a citation advantage has been observed for OA: the early view and the selection bias postulates.

In this study, a longitudinal and multidisciplinary analysis of the gold OA citation advantage is developed. All research articles in all journals for all subject categories in the multidisciplinary database Web of Science are considered.

A total of 1,137,634 articles – 86,712 OA articles (7.6%) and 1,050,922 non-OA articles (92.4%)- published in 2009 are analysed. The citation window considered goes from 2009 to 2014, and data are aggregated for the 249 disciplines (subject categories).

At journal level, we also study the evolution of journal impact factors for OA and non-OA journals in those disciplines whose OA prevalence is higher (top 36 subject categories). As the main conclusion, there is no generalizable gold OA citation advantage, neither at article nor at journal level.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1703.03220

Science and Facebook: the same popularity law!

Authors : Zoltán Néda, Levente Varga, Tamás S. Biró

The distribution of scientific citations for publications selected with different rules (author, topic, institution, country, journal, etc.) collapse on a single curve if one plots the citations relative to their mean value.

We find that the distribution of shares for the Facebook posts re-scale in the same manner to the very same curve with scientific citations. This finding suggests that citations are subjected to the same growth mechanism with Facebook popularity measures, being influenced by a statistically similar social environment and selection mechanism.

In a simple master-equation approach the exponential growth of the number of publications and a preferential selection mechanism leads to a Tsallis-Pareto distribution offering an excellent description for the observed statistics.

Based on our model and on the data derived from PubMed we predict that according to the present trend the average citations per scientific publications exponentially relaxes to about 4.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1701.05347