Scholarly Communication Librarians’ Relationship with Research Impact Indicators: An Analysis of a National Survey of Academic Librarians in the United States

Authors: Rachel Ann Miles, Stacy Konkiel, Sarah Sutton

INTRODUCTION

Academic librarians, especially in the field of scholarly communication, are often expected to understand and engage with research impact indicators. However, much of the current literature speculates about how academic librarians are using and implementing research impact indicators in their practice.

METHODS

This study analyzed the results from a 2015 survey administered to over 13,000 academic librarians at Carnegie-classified R1 institutions in the United States. The survey concentrated on academic librarians’ familiarity with and usage of research impact indicators.

RESULTS

This study uncovered findings related to academic librarians’ various levels of familiarity with research impact indicators and how they implement and use research impact indicators in their professional development and in their library job duties.

DISCUSSION

In general, academic librarians with regular scholarly communication support duties tend to have higher levels of familiarity of research impact indicators. In general, academic librarians are most familiar with the citation counts and usage statistics and least familiar with altmetrics.

During consultations with faculty, the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) and citation counts are more likely to be addressed than the author h-index, altmetrics, qualitative measures, and expert peer reviews.

The survey results also hint towards a growing interest in altmetrics among academic librarians for their professional advancement.

CONCLUSION

Academic librarians are continually challenged to keep pace with the changing landscape of research impact metrics and research assessment models. By keeping pace and implementing research impact indicators in their own practices, academic librarians can provide a crucial service to the wider academic community.

URL : Scholarly Communication Librarians’ Relationship with Research Impact Indicators: An Analysis of a National Survey of Academic Librarians in the United States

DOI : http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2212

Do altmetrics assess societal impact in the same way as case studies? An empirical analysis testing the convergent validity of altmetrics based on data from the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Authors : Lutz Bornmann, Robin Haunschild, Jonathan Adams

Altmetrics have been proposed as a way to assess the societal impact of research. Although altmetrics are already in use as impact or attention metrics in different contexts, it is still not clear whether they really capture or reflect societal impact.

This study is based on altmetrics, citation counts, research output and case study data from the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF), and peers’ REF assessments of research output and societal impact. We investigated the convergent validity of altmetrics by using two REF datasets: publications submitted as research output (PRO) to the REF and publications referenced in case studies (PCS).

Case studies, which are intended to demonstrate societal impact, should cite the most relevant research papers. We used the MHq’ indicator for assessing impact – an indicator which has been introduced for count data with many zeros.

The results of the first part of the analysis show that news media as well as mentions on Facebook, in blogs, in Wikipedia, and in policy-related documents have higher MHq’ values for PCS than for PRO.

Thus, the altmetric indicators seem to have convergent validity for these data. In the second part of the analysis, altmetrics have been correlated with REF reviewers’ average scores on PCS. The negative or close to zero correlations question the convergent validity of altmetrics in that context.

We suggest that they may capture a different aspect of societal impact (which can be called unknown attention) to that seen by reviewers (who are interested in the causal link between research and action in society).

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1807.03977

Scholarship as an Open Conversation: Utilizing Open Peer Review in Information Literacy Instruction

Author : Emily Ford

This article explores the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy’s frame, Scholarship as a Conversation. This frame asserts that information literate students have the disposition, skills, and knowledge to recognize and participate in disciplinary scholarly conversations.

By investigating the peer-review process as part of scholarly conversations, this article provides a brief literature review on peer review in information literacy instruction, and argues that by using open peer review (OPR) models for teaching, library workers can allow students to gain a deeper understanding of scholarly conversations.

OPR affords students the ability to begin dismantling the systemic oppression that blinded peer review and the traditional scholarly publishing system reinforce. Finally, the article offers an example classroom activity using OPR to help students enter scholarly conversations, and recognize power and oppression in scholarly publishing.

URL : http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2018/open-conversation/

Case for the double-blind peer review

Author : Lucie Tvrznikova

Peer review is a process designed to produce a fair assessment of research quality prior to publication of scholarly work in a journal. Demographics, nepotism, and seniority have been all shown to affect reviewer behavior suggesting the most common, single-blind review method (or the less common open review method) might be biased.

A survey of current research suggests that double-blind review offers a solution to many biases stemming from author’s gender, seniority, or location without imposing any major downsides.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1807.01408

Ten considerations for open peer review

Authors : Birgit Schmidt, Tony Ross-Hellauer, Xenia van Edig, Elizabeth C Moylan

Open peer review (OPR), as with other elements of open science and open research, is on the rise. It aims to bring greater transparency and participation to formal and informal peer review processes.

But what is meant by `open peer review’, and what advantages and disadvantages does it have over standard forms of review? How do authors or reviewers approach OPR? And what pitfalls and opportunities should you look out for?

Here, we propose ten considerations for OPR, drawing on discussions with authors, reviewers, editors, publishers and librarians, and provide a pragmatic, hands-on introduction to these issues.

We cover basic principles and summarise best practices, indicating how to use OPR to achieve best value and mutual benefits for all stakeholders and the wider research community.

URL : Ten considerations for open peer review

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.15334.1

Communicating data: interactive infographics, scientific data and credibility

Authors : Nan Li, Dominique Brossard, Dietram A. Scheufele, Paul H. Wilson, Kathleen M. Rose

Information visualization could be used to leverage the credibility of displayed scientific data. However, little was known about how display characteristics interact with individuals’ predispositions to affect perception of data credibility.

Using an experiment with 517 participants, we tested perceptions of data credibility by manipulating data visualizations related to the issue of nuclear fuel cycle based on three characteristics: graph format, graph interactivity, and source attribution.

Results showed that viewers tend to rely on preexisting levels of trust and peripheral cues, such as source attribution, to judge the credibility of shown data, whereas their comprehension level did not relate to perception of data credibility. We discussed the implications for science communicators and design professionals.

URL : Communicating data: interactive infographics, scientific data and credibility

DOI : https://doi.org/10.22323/2.17020206

Open Science Practices Adopted by Latin American & Caribbean Open Access Journals

Authors : Andre Appel, Ivonne Lujano, Sarita Albagli

The objective of this study is to investigate how Open Science (OS) values and practices have influenced open access (OA) journals publishers in Latin American and the Caribbean (LA&C) countries.

Our key research question is: to what extent are these practices being adopted by LA&C journals? In order to address this question, we conducted a survey with a sample of LA&C journals listed on the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) database.

The results reveal that many journals are somewhat aware of or informed about most of open science practices being discussed, but just some of them have already successfully adopted those practices.

URL : https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01800164v3