Early career researchers: Scholarly behaviour and the prospect of change

Authors : David Nicholas, Anthony Watkinson, Cherifa Boukacem-Zeghmouri, Blanca Rodríguez-Bravo, Jie Xu, Abdullah Abrizah, Marzena Świgon, Eti Herman

Early career researchers (ECRs) are of great interest because they are the new (and biggest) wave of researchers. They merit long and detailed investigation, and towards this end, this overarching paper provides a summary of the firstyear findings of a 3-year, longitudinal study of 116 science and social science ECRs who have published nearly 1,200 papers and come from 7 countries and 81 universities.

ECRs were interviewed in their own languages face-to-face, by Skype, or telephone. The study focused on the attitudes and behaviours of ECRs with respect to scholarly communications and the extent to which they are adopting new and disruptive technologies, such as social media, online communities, and Open Science.

The main findings include: publishing in highimpact factor journals is the only reputational game in town; online scholarly communities, and ResearchGate in particular, are gaining ground; social media are beginning to have an impact, especially in the dissemination arena; outreach activities have become more important; libraries are becoming increasingly invisible to ECRs; Open Science is not gaining traction; and more transformational ideas are being expressed, especially in the US and UK.

URL : http://ciber-research.eu/download/20170218-Nicholas_et_al-2017a-Learned_Publishing.pdf

No scholar is an island: The impact of sharing in the work life of scholars

Authors : Carol Tenopir, Suzie Allard, Lisa Christian, Robert Anderson, Suzan Ali-Saleh, Dave Nicholas, Anthony Watkinson, Hazel Woodward

The sharing of scholarly articles is an intrinsic and often ignored facet of the value and mission of scholarship. It is so entwined in the daily work life of scholars that it has almost become second nature, an integral part of the research process itself.

This article addresses this often overlooked area of research in usage studies. In an international survey of 1,000 published scholars, the Beyond Downloads project examined their sharing behaviours in order to gain a more contextualized and accurate picture of their usage beyond download patterns and citation counts.

Scholars share published articles with others as a mode of content discovery and dissemination, particularly if they work in groups, and most expect to increase their sharing in the future.

While their methods of sharing articles may change, and their reasons for sharing may vary from self-promotion to the more altruistic motives of scientific progress, they desire to share the final published versions of articles with their colleagues.

URL : http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/leap.1090/full

What are the personal and professional characteristics that distinguish the researchers who publish in high- and low-impact journals? A multi-national web-based survey

Authors : Carlos Eduardo Paiva, Raphael L C Araujo, Bianca Sakamoto Ribeiro Paiva, Cristiano de Pádua Souza, Flavio Mavignier Cárcano, Marina Moreira Costa, Sérgio Vicente Serrano, João Paulo Nogueira Lima


This study identifies the personal and professional profiles of researchers with a greater potential to publish high-impact academic articles.


The study involved conducting an international survey of journal authors using a  web-based questionnaire. The survey examined personal characteristics, funding, and the perceived barriers of research quality, work-life balance, and satisfaction and motivation in relation to career.

The processes of manuscript writing and journal publication were measured using an online questionnaire that was developed for this study. The responses were compared between the two groups of researchers using logistic regression models.


A total of 269 questionnaires were analysed. The researchers shared some common perceptions; both groups reported that they were seeking recognition (or to be leaders in their areas) rather than financial remuneration.

Furthermore, both groups identified time and funding constraints as the main obstacles to their scientific activities.

The amount of time that was spent on research activities, having >5 graduate students under supervision, never using text editing services prior to the publication of articles, and living in a developed and English-speaking country were the independent variables that were associated with their article getting a greater chance of publishing in a high-impact journal.

In contrast, using one’s own resources to perform studies decreased the chance of publishing in high-impact journals.


The researchers who publish in high-impact journals have distinct profiles compared with the researchers who publish in low-impact journals.

English language abilities and the actual amount of time that is dedicated to research and scientific writing, as well as aspects that relate to the availability of financial resources are the factors that are associated with a successful researcher’s profile.

URL : What are the personal and professional characteristics that distinguish the researchers who publish in high- and low-impact journals? A multi-national web-based survey

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.3332/ecancer.2017.718

Fairness in scientific publishing

Author : Philippa C. Matthews

Major changes are afoot in the world of academic publishing, exemplified by innovations in publishing platforms, new approaches to metrics, improvements in our approach to peer review, and a focus on developing and encouraging open access to scientific literature and data.

The FAIR acronym recommends that authors and publishers should aim to make their output Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. In this opinion article, I explore the parallel view that we should take a collective stance on making the dissemination of scientific data fair in the conventional sense, by being mindful of equity and justice for patients, clinicians, academics, publishers, funders and academic institutions.

The views I represent are founded on oral and written dialogue with clinicians, academics and the publishing industry. Further progress is needed to improve collaboration and dialogue between these groups, to reduce misinterpretation of metrics, to minimise inequity that arises as a consequence of geographic setting, to improve economic sustainability, and to broaden the spectrum, scope, and diversity of scientific publication.

URL : Fairness in scientific publishing

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.10318.2

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

Openness of Spanish scholarly journals as measured by access and rights

Authors : Remedios Melero, Mikael Laakso, Miguel Navas-Fernández

Metrics regarding Open Access (OA) availability for readers and the enablers of redistribution of content published in scholarly journals, i.e. content licenses, copyright ownership, and publisher-stipulated self-archiving permissions are still scarce.

This study implements the four core variables (reader rights, reuse rights, copyrights, author posting rights) of the recently published Open Access Spectrum (OAS) to measure the level of openness in all 1728 Spanish scholarly journals listed in the Spanish national DULCINEA database at the end of 2015.

In order to conduct the analysis additional data has been aggregated from other bibliographic databases and through manual data collection (such data includes the journal research area, type of publisher, type of access, self-archiving and reuse policy, and potential type of Creative Commons (CC) licence used).

79% of journals allowed self-archiving in some form, 13.5% did not specify any copyright terms and 37% used CC licenses. From the total journals (1728), 1285 (74.5%) received the maximum score of 20 in reader rights. For 72% of journals, authors retain or publishers grant broad rights which include author reuse and authorisation rights (for others to re-use).

The OAS-compliant results of this study enable comparative studies to be conducted on other large populations of journals.

URL : https://digital.csic.es/handle/10261/142458

Publicisations, lettrures scientifiques et évolutions des modes éditoriaux

Auteur/Author : Gabriel Gallezot

Lettrure scientifique à l’ère du numérique.  La lettrure désigne de manière interdéterminée les activités de lecture et d’écriture perçues comme une seule et même activité, quand la littératie désigne selon l’OCDE (2000) « l’aptitude à comprendre et à utiliser l’information écrite dans la vie courante, à la maison, au travail et dans la collectivité en vue d’atteindre des buts personnels et d’étendre ses connaissances et ses capacités ».

Il y a donc l’activité de l’activité de lecture-écriture (lettrure) et l’aptitude à comprendre et à utiliser l’information écrite (littératie). Quelques 700 années séparent ces termes et cette appréhension de l’appropriation des objets culturels. Il sont aussi fortement liées par un processus, car c’est bien par un travail répété de lecture et d’écriture que l’on acquiert les connaissances qui permettent l’intelligibilité du monde sensible.

En contexte numérique les dispositifs de communication rendent indissociables les pratiques de lecture-écriture. Quand le « clavier » s’impose au « stylo »,  « l’écran » réuni le « livre » et « la page blanche », les blogs (et autres CMS) proposent un « web inscriptible », les réseaux sociaux négocient la « clôture du texte » et les moteurs de recherche ordonnent le « sommaire »… nos schémas cognitifs, nos pratiques informationnelles et communicationnelles se modifient.

Analyser « la lettrure scientifique à l’ère du numérique » c’est mettre en lumière ce processus, ces modifications en contexte scientifique. Le terme de Lettrure est ici préféré au terme Litteratie pour renforcer l’aspect « littérature savante » énoncé au 13e siècle, mais comme nous l’avons indiqué il s’agit bien de la même démarche reconduite, renouvelée par des techniques intellectuelles et dispositifs de communication.

URL : Publicisations, lettrures scientifiques et évolutions des modes éditoriaux

Alternative location : https://archivesic.ccsd.cnrs.fr/sic_01438208