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

Authors : Giuseppe Lippi, Camilla Mattiuzzi


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.


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.


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).


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.



The changing role of research publishing: a case study from Springer Nature

Author : Steven Inchcoombe

Using Springer Nature as a case study this article explores the future of research publishing, with the guiding objective of identifying how such organizations can better serve the needs of researchers and those that support researchers (particularly academic institutions, institutional libraries, research funding bodies and academic societies) as we work together to help advance discovery for the benefit of all.

Progress in four key areas is described: improving the publishing process, innovating across science communication, driving the growth and development of open research and adding value beyond publishing.

The aim of this article is thus to set out a clear vision of what research publishers can achieve if they especially focus on addressing researchers’ needs and apply their considerable resources and expertise accordingly.

If delivered with care, this vision should enable research publishers to help advance discovery, publish more robust and insightful research, support the development of new areas of knowledge and understanding, and make these ideas and this information accessible, usable and reusable by humans and machines alike.

URL : The changing role of research publishing: a case study from Springer Nature



Journal of Open Source Software (JOSS): design and first-year review

Authors : Arfon M Smith, Kyle E Niemeyer, Daniel S Katz, Lorena A Barba, George Githinji, Melissa Gymrek, Kathryn D Huff, Christopher R Madan, Abigail Cabunoc Mayes, Kevin M Moerman, Pjotr Prins, Karthik Ram, Ariel Rokem, Tracy K Teal, Roman Valls Guimera, Jacob T Vanderplas

This article describes the motivation, design, and progress of the Journal of Open Source Software (JOSS). JOSS is a free and open-access journal that publishes articles describing research software. It has the dual goals of improving the quality of the software submitted and providing a mechanism for research software developers to receive credit.

While designed to work within the current merit system of science, JOSS addresses the dearth of rewards for key contributions to science made in the form of software. JOSS publishes articles that encapsulate scholarship contained in the software itself, and its rigorous peer review targets the software components: functionality, documentation, tests, continuous integration, and the license.

A JOSS article contains an abstract describing the purpose and functionality of the software, references, and a link to the software archive. The article is the entry point of a JOSS submission, which encompasses the full set of software artifacts.

Submission and review proceed in the open, on GitHub. Editors, reviewers, and authors work collaboratively and openly. Unlike other journals, JOSS does not reject articles requiring major revision; while not yet accepted, articles remain visible and under review until the authors make adequate changes (or withdraw, if unable to meet requirements).

Once an article is accepted, JOSS gives it a DOI, deposits its metadata in Crossref, and the article can begin collecting citations on indexers like Google Scholar and other services. Authors retain copyright of their JOSS article, releasing it under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

In its first year, starting in May 2016, JOSS published 111 articles, with more than 40 additional articles currently under review. JOSS is a sponsored project of the nonprofit organization NumFOCUS and is an affiliate of the Open Source Initiative.


The Information Process and the Labour Process in the Information Age

Authors : Jaime F. Cárdenas-García, Bruno Soria de Mesa, Diego Romero

This paper examines how information fundamentally influences the labour process in the information age. The process of becoming human in the labour process brings to the fore the notion of information and our dialectical interactions with our natural environment as

These insights lead the authors to posit that information/ideas are material. Information/ideas are not ethereal/immaterial, as is commonly believed, which does not negate that information/ideas may be abstract.

Taking a fundamental approach serves to discard the concept of immaterial labour and products to posit an undeniable materialist basis for the labour theory of value. More importantly, it serves to point to the immanence of information and labour in the labour theory of value.

URL : The Information Process and the Labour Process in the Information Age

Alternative location :


Publish or impoverish: An investigation of the monetary reward system of science in China (1999-2016)

Authors : Wei Quan, Bikun Chen, Fei Shu


The purpose of this study is to present the landscape of the cash-per-publication reward policy in China and reveal its trend since the late 1990s.


This study is based on the analysis of 168 university documents regarding the cash-per-publication reward policy at 100 Chinese universities.


Chinese universities offer cash rewards from 30 to 165,000 USD for papers published in journals indexed by Web of Science (WoS), and the average reward amount has been increasing for the past 10 years.


The cash-per-publication reward policy in China has never been systematically studied and investigated before except for in some case studies. This is the first paper that reveals the landscape of the cash-per-publication reward policy in China.


Tablettes et ados : des bibliothécaires scolaires à la page

Auteur/Author : Stéphanie Pouchot

Les technologies numériques pourraient avoir des impacts négatifs sur l’apprentissage à l’école, notamment sur la concentration, la lecture en profondeur et la mémorisation. Pour autant, leurs retombées positives sont elles aussi bien réelles, par exemple sur les tâches à accomplir, la vitesse de lecture et la compréhension.

Quelle que soit la position adoptée, les technologies et dispositifs numériques ont de toute façon fait leur entrée à l’école. Il est donc nécessaire pour les personnels des établissements scolaires de se « former au numérique ».

Afin de poser le contexte, le présent article revient sur les résultats de la dernière enquête JAMES (« Jeunes, activités, médias – enquête Suisse »). La suite est consacrée à un retour d’expérience concernant sur une formation aux ebooks conçue pour des bibliothécaires du cycle d’orientation de l’État de Genève.

Seront abordés le profil des participants, structure de la formation, pistes d’action concrètes. Enfin, la dernière partie rappelle l’importance du rôle des bibliothécaires scolaires dans le domaine de la littératie numérique et l’accompagnement des élèves à l’appropriation des potentialités et la connaissance des leurs limites.


Open data et smart cities : quels chantiers pour les SIC?

Auteurs/Authors : Valentyna Dymytrova, Valérie Larroche, Françoise Paquienséguy, Marie-France Peyrelong

L’article rend compte des questionnements et analyses info-communicationnels en cours dans le cadre d’une ANR OpenSensingCity, regroupant outre les chercheurs en sciences de l’information et de la communication (équipe ELICO), des chercheurs en informatique (Armines de l’Ecole des Mines de Saint Etienne) et des entreprises (Antidot et Hikob).

Nous nous intéressons particulièrement aux stratégies des acteurs constituant l’écosystème de l’Open data en lien avec les smart cities. Dans cet écosystème, l’attention se porte plus spécifiquement sur deux types d’acteurs : les collectivités territoriales et les réutilisateurs professionnels.

Les portails de l’Open data des collectivités territoriales sont étudiés par une approche sémio-pragmatique permettant d’analyser les stratégies éditoriales et la place de la Métropole dans l’écosystème.

Quant aux réutilisateurs, leurs usages et les pratiques professionnels sont saisis à travers les entretiens semi-discursifs. Enfin, ces deux thématiques de smart cities et de l’Open data nous amènent à reconsidérer la question des communs.