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

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

Les pratiques informationnelles des chercheurs à l’ère du numérique

Auteur/Author : Amal Jaouzi

Dans la présente étude, nous avons tenté d’analyser les modalités d’accès aux informations scientifiques et techniques, en particulier et aux publications scientifiques éditées par les grands éditeurs, en général.

Nous précisons que ladite analyse porte principalement sur les pratiques informationnelles des chercheurs issus des pays en voie de développement, notamment les enseignants-chercheurs et les doctorants marocains.

En effet, notre étude s’inscrit dans le domaine des Sciences de l’Information et de la Communication dans la mesure où elle traite principalement les problématiques d’accès aux communications scientifiques.

Á ce titre, en vue d’apporter des éléments de réponse et d’explication aux questions de recherche que nous avons défini au début de cette étude, nous nous sommes entretenus avec vingt-et-un (21) chercheurs marocains issus de trois instituts d’enseignement supérieur : IAV, INPT et ESI, dont le domaine est respectivement, l’agronomie et la médecine vétérinaire ; les télécommunications et les sciences de l’information.

Il s’agit d’un entretien semi-directif guidé par une grille d’entretien. Par ailleurs, selon les résultats de l’enquête menée, l’accès aux informations scientifiques est problématique au Maroc.

Les chercheurs font appel à des pratiques contournées pour acquérir les articles scientifiques, notamment, l’utilisation de certains réseaux de partage tel que ResearchGate ou l’utilisation des sites de recensement des productions scientifiques de grands éditeurs, comme la plate-forme Sci-Hub ou Libgen.

Outre ces constats, nous avons tenté, par le biais de ce travail, de situer l’usage du hashtag #IcanhazPDF dans la démarche d’accès aux communications scientifiques. Par conséquent, nous avons constaté que ladite pratique demeure récente et méconnue dans le contexte marocain mais, à laquelle les chercheurs marocains ont porté un intérêt particulier et ont exprimé leurs volontés de l’utiliser et de la pratiquer.

La valeur ajoutée de ce travail est transversale dans le sens où il présente une analyse axée sur l’usage des productions scientifiques dans deux contextes différents : marocain et étranger -en particulier français- et dans le sens où il présente également l’étude d’une pratique nouvelle qui n’a pas été traitée par un grand nombre de chercheurs.

Nous évoquons, à ce niveau, la pratique de demande des articles scientifiques payants moyennant le hashtag #IcanhazPDF sur le réseau social Twitter.

URL : https://dumas.ccsd.cnrs.fr/dumas-01379402

Networks of digital humanities scholars: The informational and social uses and gratifications of Twitter

Authors : Anabel Quan-Haase, Kim Martin, Lori McCay-Peet

Big Data research is currently split on whether and to what extent Twitter can be characterized as an informational or social network. We contribute to this line of inquiry through an investigation of digital humanities (DH) scholars’ uses and gratifications of Twitter.

We conducted a thematic analysis of 25 semi-structured interview transcripts to learn about these scholars’ professional use of Twitter.

Our findings show that Twitter is considered a critical tool for informal communication within DH invisible colleges, functioning at varying levels as both an information network (learning to ‘Twitter’ and maintaining awareness) and a social network (imagining audiences and engaging other digital humanists).

We find that Twitter follow relationships reflect common academic interests and are closely tied to scholars’ pre-existing social ties and conference or event co-attendance. The concept of the invisible college continues to be relevant but requires revisiting.

The invisible college formed on Twitter is messy, consisting of overlapping social contexts (professional, personal and public), scholars with different habits of engagement, and both formal and informal ties.

Our research illustrates the value of using multiple methods to explore the complex questions arising from Big Data studies and points toward future research that could implement Big Data techniques on a small scale, focusing on subtopics or emerging fields, to expose the nature of scholars’ invisible colleges made visible on Twitter.

URL : http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/fimspub/71/


Drivers and Implications of Scientific Open Access Publishing : Findings from a Pilot OECD International Survey of Scientific Authors

Authors : Brunella Boselli, Fernando Galindo-Rueda

This paper presents the results of a new and experimental study on the research and publishing activities of scientific authors. It also aimed to test the feasibility of an OECD global survey on science with a focus on major emerging policy issues.

This online, email-based pilot survey was based on a stratified random sample of corresponding authors of publications listed in a major global scientific publication index across seven diverse, hand-picked science domains.

The results provide evidence of the extent of journal and repository-based open access, data sharing practices, the link between different forms of open access to research and research impact, and the decoupling of quality assurance and access roles played by journals.

The results point to the importance of considering economic incentives and social norms in developing policy options for open access. The findings also provide new insights on scientist careers, mobility and gender pay bias.

URL : http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5jlr2z70k0bx-en

Do Younger Researchers Assess Trustworthiness Differently when Deciding what to Read and Cite and where to Publish?

Authors : David Nicholas, Hamid R. Jamali, Anthony Watkinson, Eti Herman, Carol Tenopir, Rachel Volentine, Suzie Allard, Kenneth Levine

An international survey of over 3600 academic researchers examined how trustworthiness is determined when making decisions on scholarly reading, citing, and publishing in the digital age and whether social media and open access publications are having an impact on judgements.

In general, the study found that traditional scholarly methods and criteria remain important across the board. However, there are significant differences between younger (age 30 & under) and older researchers (over 30).

Thus younger researchers: a) expend less effort to obtain information and more likely to compromise on quality in their selections; b) view open access publishing much more positively as it offers them more choices and helps to establish their reputation more quickly; c) compensate for their lack of experience by relying more heavily on trust markers and proxies, such as impact factors; d) use all the outlets available in order to improve the chances of getting their work published and, in this respect, make the most use of the social media with which they are more familiar.

URL : http://ciber-research.eu/download/20160103-read_cite_publish.pdf

Changes in the digital scholarly environment and issues of trust: An exploratory, qualitative analysis

Authors : Anthony Watkinson, David Nicholas, Clare Thornley, Eti Herman, Hamid R. Jamali, Rachel Volentine, Suzie Allard, Kenneth Levine, Carol Tenopir

The paper reports on some of the results of a research project into how changes in digital behaviour and services impacts on concepts of trust and authority held by researchers in the sciences and social sciences in the UK and the USA.

Interviews were used in conjunction with a group of focus groups to establish the form and topic of questions put to a larger international sample in an online questionnaire. The results of these 87 interviews were analysed to determine whether or not attitudes have indeed changed in terms of sources of information used, citation behaviour in choosing references, and in dissemination practices.

It was found that there was marked continuity in attitudes though an increased emphasis on personal judgement over established and new metrics. Journals (or books in some disciplines) were more highly respected than other sources and still the vehicle for formal scholarly communication.

The interviews confirmed that though an open access model did not in most cases lead to mistrust of a journal, a substantial number of researchers were worried about the approaches from what are called predatory OA journals. Established researchers did not on the whole use social media in their professional lives but a question about outreach revealed that it was recognised as effective in reaching a wider audience.

There was a remarkable similarity in practice across research attitudes in all the disciplines covered andin both the countries where interviews were held.

URL : http://ciber-research.eu/download/20151110-Watkinson-Changes_and_Trust.pdf