The effect of bioRxiv preprints on citations and altmetrics

Authors : Nicholas Fraser, Fakhri Momeni, Philipp Mayr, Isabella Peters

A potential motivation for scientists to deposit their scientific work as preprints is to enhance its citation or social impact, an effect which has been empirically observed for preprints in physics, astronomy and mathematics deposited to arXiv. In this study we assessed the citation and altmetric advantage of bioRxiv, a preprint server for the biological sciences.

We retrieved metadata of all bioRxiv preprints deposited between November 2013 and December 2017, and matched them to articles that were subsequently published in peer-reviewed journals. Citation data from Scopus and altmetric data from Altmetric.com were used to compare citation and online sharing behaviour of bioRxiv preprints, their related journal articles, and non-deposited articles published in the same journals.

We found that bioRxiv-deposited journal articles received a sizeable citation and altmetric advantage over non-deposited articles. Regression analysis reveals that this advantage is not explained by multiple explanatory variables related to the article and its authorship.

bioRxiv preprints themselves are being directly cited in journal articles, regardless of whether the preprint has been subsequently published in a journal. bioRxiv preprints are also shared widely on Twitter and in blogs, but remain relatively scarce in mainstream media and Wikipedia articles, in comparison to peer-reviewed journal articles.

URL : https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/673665v1

From closed to open access: A case study of flipped journals

Authors : Fakhri Momeni, Nicholas Fraser, Isabella Peters, Philipp Mayr

In recent years, increased stakeholder pressure to transition research to Open Access has led to many journals “flipping” from a toll access to an open access publishing model. Changing the publishing model can influence the decision of authors to submit their papers to a journal, and increased article accessibility may influence citation behaviour.

The aim of this paper is to show changes in the number of published articles and citations after the flipping of a journal. We analysed a set of 171 journals in the Web of Science (WoS) which flipped to open access.

In addition to comparing the number of articles, average relative citation (ARC) and normalized impact factor (IF) are applied, respectively, as bibliometric indicators at the article and journal level, to trace the transformation of flipped journals covered.

Our results show that flipping mostly has had positive effects on journal’s IF. But it has had no obvious citation advantage for the articles. We also see a decline in the number of published articles after flipping.

We can conclude that flipping to open access can improve the performance of journals, despite decreasing the tendency of authors to submit their articles and no better citation advantages for articles.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1903.11682

“When You Use Social Media You Are Not Working”: Barriers for the Use of Metrics in Social Sciences

Authors : Steffen Lemke, Maryam Mehrazar, Athanasios Mazarakis, Isabella Peters

The Social Sciences have long been struggling with quantitative forms of research assessment—insufficient coverage in prominent citation indices and overall lower citation counts than in STM subject areas have led to a widespread weariness regarding bibliometric evaluations among social scientists.

Fueled by the rise of the social web, new hope is often placed on alternative metrics that measure the attention scholarly publications receive online, in particular on social media. But almost a decade after the coining of the term altmetrics for this new group of indicators, the uptake of the concept in the Social Sciences still seems to be low.

Just like with traditional bibliometric indicators, one central problem hindering the applicability of altmetrics for the Social Sciences is the low coverage of social science publications on the respective data sources—which in the case of altmetrics are the various social media platforms on which interactions with scientific outputs can be measured.

Another reason is that social scientists have strong opinions about the usefulness of metrics for research evaluation which may hinder broad acceptance of altmetrics too. We conducted qualitative interviews and online surveys with researchers to identify the concerns which inhibit the use of social media and the utilization of metrics for research evaluation in the Social Sciences.

By analyzing the response data from the interviews in conjunction with the response data from the surveys, we identify the key concerns that inhibit social scientists from (1) applying social media for professional purposes and (2) making use of the wide array of metrics available.

Our findings show that aspects of time consumption, privacy, dealing with information overload, and prevalent styles of communication are predominant concerns inhibiting Social Science researchers from using social media platforms for their work.

Regarding indicators for research impact we identify a widespread lack of knowledge about existing metrics, their methodologies and meanings as a major hindrance for their uptake through social scientists.

The results have implications for future developments of scholarly online tools and show that researchers could benefit considerably from additional formal training regarding the correct application and interpretation of metrics.

URL : “When You Use Social Media You Are Not Working”: Barriers for the Use of Metrics in Social Sciences

DOI : https://doi.org/10.3389/frma.2018.00039

What increases (social) media attention: Research impact, author prominence or title attractiveness?

Authors : Olga Zagovora, Katrin Weller, Milan Janosov, Claudia Wagner, Isabella Peters

Do only major scientific breakthroughs hit the news and social media, or does a ‘catchy’ title help to attract public attention? How strong is the connection between the importance of a scientific paper and the (social) media attention it receives?

In this study we investigate these questions by analysing the relationship between the observed attention and certain characteristics of scientific papers from two major multidisciplinary journals: Nature Communication (NC) and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

We describe papers by features based on the linguistic properties of their titles and centrality measures of their authors in their co-authorship network.

We identify linguistic features and collaboration patterns that might be indicators for future attention, and are characteristic to different journals, research disciplines, and media sources.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1809.06299