Perceived publication pressure in Amsterdam: Survey of all disciplinary fields and academic ranks

Authors : Tamarinde L. Haven, Lex M. Bouter, Yvo M. Smulders, Joeri K. Tijdink

Publications determine to a large extent the possibility to stay in academia (“publish or perish”). While some pressure to publish may incentivise high quality research, too much publication pressure is likely to have detrimental effects on both the scientific enterprise and on individual researchers.

Our research question was: What is the level of perceived publication pressure in the four academic institutions in Amsterdam and does the pressure to publish differ between academic ranks and disciplinary fields?

Investigating researchers in Amsterdam with the revised Publication Pressure Questionnaire, we find that a negative attitude towards the current publication climate is present across academic ranks and disciplinary fields.

Postdocs and assistant professors (M = 3.42) perceive the greatest publication stress and PhD-students (M = 2.44) perceive a significant lack of resources to relieve publication stress. Results indicate the need for a healthier publication climate where the quality and integrity of research is rewarded.

URL : Perceived publication pressure in Amsterdam: Survey of all disciplinary fields and academic ranks


Citation.js: a format-independent, modular bibliography tool for the browser and command line

Author : Lars G Willighagen


Given the vast number of standards and formats for bibliographical data, any program working with bibliographies and citations has to be able to interpret such data. This paper describes the development of Citation.js (, a tool to parse and format according to those standards.

The program follows modern guidelines for software in general and JavaScript in specific, such as version control, source code analysis, integration testing and semantic versioning.


The result is an extensible tool that has already seen adaption in a variety of sources and use cases: as part of a server-side page generator of a publishing platform, as part of a local extensible document generator, and as part of an in-browser converter of extracted references.

Use cases range from transforming a list of DOIs or Wikidata identifiers into a BibTeX file on the command line, to displaying RIS references on a webpage with added Altmetric badges to generating “How to cite this” sections on a blog.

The accuracy of conversions is currently 27 % for properties and 60 % for types on average and a typical initialization takes 120 ms in browsers and 1 s with Node.js on the command line.


Citation.js is a library supporting various formats of bibliographic information in a broad selection of use cases and environments. Given the support for plugins, more formats can be added with relative ease.

URL : Citation.js: a format-independent, modular bibliography tool for the browser and command line


Share or perish: Social media and the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing

Authors : Paul McNamara, Kim Usher

The impact of published research is sometimes measured by the number of citations an individual article accumulates. However, the time from publication to citation can be extensive. Years may pass before authors are able to measure the impact of their publication. Social media provides individuals and organizations a powerful medium with which to share information.

The power of social media is sometimes harnessed to share scholarly works, especially journal article citations and quotes. A non‐traditional bibliometric is required to understand the impact social media has on disseminating scholarly works/research.

The International Journal of Mental Health Nursing (IJMHN) appointed a social media editor as of 1 January 2017 to implement a strategy to increase the impact and reach of the journal’s articles.

To measure the impact of the IJMHN social media strategy, quantitative data for the eighteen months prior to the social media editor start date, and the eighteen months after that date (i.e.: from 01 July 2015 to 30 June 2018) were acquired and analysed.

Quantitative evidence demonstrates the effectiveness of one journal’s social media strategy in increasing the reach and readership of the articles it publishes.

This information may be of interest to those considering where to publish their research, those wanting to amplify the reach of their research, those who fund research, and journal editors and boards.


The citation advantage of linking publications to research data

Authors : Giovanni Colavizza, Iain Hrynaszkiewicz, Isla Staden, Kirstie Whitaker, Barbara McGillivray

Efforts to make research results open and reproducible are increasingly reflected by journal policies encouraging or mandating authors to provide data availability statements.

As a consequence of this, there has been a strong uptake of data availability statements in recent literature. Nevertheless, it is still unclear what proportion of these statements actually contain well-formed links to data, for example via a URL or permanent identifier, and if there is an added value in providing them.

We consider 531,889 journal articles published by PLOS and BMC which are part of the PubMed Open Access collection, categorize their data availability statements according to their content and analyze the citation advantage of different statement categories via regression.

We find that, following mandated publisher policies, data availability statements have become common by now, yet statements containing a link to a repository are still just a fraction of the total.

We also find that articles with these statements, in particular, can have up to 25.36% higher citation impact on average: an encouraging result for all publishers and authors who make the effort of sharing their data. All our data and code are made available in order to reproduce and extend our results.


Service intermediation as a concept for an institutional publishing department

Authors  : Fabian Cremer, Katrin Neumann

The service portfolio of the institutional publishing platform is built on partnerships, cooperations, and community networks. The paper discusses context, preconditions, best practices and challenges of an institutional service concept relying on services outside the institution.


Narrowing the Gap Between Publication and Access: Is a Mandate Enough to Get Us Closer?

Authors : Maria Manuel Borges, António Tavares Lopes

Changes brought about by the Internet to Scholarly Communication and the spread of Open Access movement, have made it possible to increase the number of potential readers of published research dramatically.

This two-phase study aims, at first, to assert the satisfaction of the potential for increased open access to articles published by authors at the University of Coimbra, in a context when there was no stimulus for the openness of published science other than an institutional mandate set by the University policy on Open Access (“Acesso Livre”).

The satisfaction of the access openness was measured by observing the actual archiving behavior of researchers (either directly or through their agents). We started by selecting the top journal titles used to publish the STEM research of the University of Coimbra (2004-2013) by using Thomson Reuters’ Science Citation Index (SCI). These titles were available at the University libraries or through online subscriptions, some of them in open access (21%).

By checking the journals’ policy at the time regarding self-archiving at the SHERPA/RoMEO service, we found that the percentage of articles in Open Access (OA) could rise to 80% if deposited at Estudo Geral, the Institutional Repository of the University of Coimbra, as prescribed by the Open Access Policy of the University.

As we concluded by verifying the deposit status of every single paper of researchers of the University that published in those journals, this potential was far from being fulfilled, despite the existence of the institutional mandate and favorable editorial conditions.

We concluded, therefore, that an institutional mandate was not sufficient by itself to fully implement an open access policy and to close the gap between publication and access.

The second phase of the study, to follow, will rescan the status of published papers in a context where the Portuguese public funding agency, the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, introduced in 2014 a new significant stimulus for open access in science.

The FCT Open Access Policy stipulates that publicly funded published research must be available as soon as possible in a repository of the Portuguese network of scientific repositories, RCAAP, which integrates the Estudo Geral.

URL : Narrowing the Gap Between Publication and Access: Is a Mandate Enough to Get Us Closer?

DOI : 10.20944/preprints201906.0154.v1

Comparing quality of reporting between preprints and peer-reviewed articles in the biomedical literature

Authors : Clarissa F. D. Carneiro, Victor G. S. Queiroz, Thiago C. Moulin, Carlos A. M. Carvalho, Clarissa B. Haas, Danielle Rayêe, David E. Henshall, Evandro A. De-Souza, Felippe Espinelli, Flávia Z. Boos, Gerson D. Guercio, Igor R. Costa, Karina L. Hajdu, Martin Modrák, Pedro B. Tan, Steven J. Burgess, Sylvia F. S. Guerra, Vanessa T. Bortoluzzi, Olavo B. Amara

Preprint usage is growing rapidly in the life sciences; however, questions remain on the relative quality of preprints when compared to published articles. An objective dimension of quality that is readily measurable is completeness of reporting, as transparency can improve the reader’s ability to independently interpret data and reproduce findings.

In this observational study, we compared random samples of articles published in bioRxiv and in PubMed-indexed journals in 2016 using a quality of reporting questionnaire. We found that peer-reviewed articles had, on average, higher quality of reporting than preprints, although this difference was small.

We found larger differences favoring PubMed in subjective ratings of how clearly titles and abstracts presented the main findings and how easy it was to locate relevant reporting information.

Interestingly, an exploratory analysis showed that preprints with figures and legends embedded within text had reporting scores similar to PubMed articles.

These differences cannot be directly attributed to peer review or editorial processes, as manuscripts might already differ before submission due to greater uptake of preprints by particular research communities.

Nevertheless, our results show that quality of reporting in preprints in the life sciences is within a similar range as that of peer-reviewed articles, albeit slightly lower on average, supporting the idea that preprints should be considered valid scientific contributions.

An ongoing second phase of the project is comparing preprints to their own published versions in order to more directly assess the effects of peer review.

URL : Comparing quality of reporting between preprints and peer-reviewed articles in the biomedical literature