Monday, 30 November 2015

CSC - ORCID – unique identifiers to support researchers - Blog Post


ORCID – unique identifiers to support researchers
is continually offering researchers new opportunities and tools to both
locate information within their fields and improve the visibility of
their own research. Over the past ten years, a considerable variety of
services targeted at the scientific community have sprung up all over
the world. These services enable researchers to maintain a research
profile containing, for example, details of their research projects and

Some popular 'scientific social media' include Google Scholar, ResearchGate,, Impactstory and Mendeley.
These services offer a channel for networking and keeping in contact
with research colleagues all around the world. Some of them also allow
researchers to keep a list of references to research publications that
are of interest to them.  Most services are free for researchers.

Unique identifiers for researchers

The international researcher identifier system ORCID
(Open Researcher and Contributor ID) was launched in 2012 with the aim
of improving researchers' visibility. Researchers can use this service
to maintain a list of, for example, their publications, funding and
degrees. However, ORCID differs from other services in that it offers
researchers a unique identifier – a numerical sequence that seeks to
solve confusion resulting from, for example, researchers with the same
name or a person's name being written in different formats. To date,
almost 1.6 million researchers across the world have obtained an ORCID

international scientific publishers have begun using ORCID in their own
processes. Researchers can therefore link their ORCID identifier to an
article when submitting the manuscript to a journal, so it will
automatically transfer with the publication to, for example, citation
indexing services of scientific publications (Web of Science, Scopus,
etc.). One of the ORCID's goals is to facilitate the automatic transfer
of a researcher's information between a variety of systems, so that the
same data doesn't need to be entered in several different places.

ORCID facilitates data transfer

countries have already started using ORCID as a national-level
identifier for researchers. For example, Sweden's largest research
funder, Vetenskaprådet, requires all funding applicants to have an ORCID
identifier. Denmark's target is for 80 per cent of researchers to have
an ORCID identifier by 2016. The identifiers have already been widely
adopted in Portugal in connection with an national research assessment

In Finland, the Ministry of Education and Culture is
promoting researcher identification by offering interested organisations
centralised support for ORCID adoption through CSC. A CSC report
completed in early 2015 showed that ORCID also generates benefits at a
national level, as publication details and other information are
automatically transferred from, for example, international citation
databases to researchers' home universities, and from there to research
funders and administrative reports. The project also involves developing
nationwide services to facilitate data transfer between different
organizations and avoid duplicate data entry into several different

ORCID is not compulsory

There are also some
concerns surrounding ORCID. ORCID is a non-profit organisation
registered in the USA.  For organisations in EU countries, this poses
some problems, especially with regard to the surrender of personal
details. Researchers also have a variety of justifiable reasons for not
wanting to register with or use the service. However, no legal issues
will arise if researchers create an identifier for themselves. That's
why the report carried out in Finland recommends, as in many other
countries, that Finnish organisations do not create identifiers on
behalf of researchers and that ORCID use remain voluntary.

many researchers have created ORCID identifiers, the greatest benefit
will only be reaped when ORCID is introduced in additional services and
processes. However, many service providers are waiting for a 'critical
mass' of users. The benefits offered by ORCID will, therefore, increase
as its coverage among researchers improves.

Read the blog post in Finnish

Hanna-Mari Puuska
Hanna-Mari Puuska
The writer works as a project manager for CSC and has previously been a researcher at the University of Tampere.

CSC - ORCID – unique identifiers to support researchers - Blog Post

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Is this 17 Year-Old Korean Ph.D. Student a Plagiarist? | Scholarly Open Access


Is this 17 Year-Old Korean Ph.D. Student a Plagiarist?

Yoo-geun Song
Yoo-geun Song turns 18 next week.
South Korean prodigy Yoo-geun Song
is 17 years-old and about to complete his Ph.D. in astrophysics. The
boy genius, along with his dissertation adviser Seok Jae Park,
co-authored an article published last month in The Astrophysical Journal, but regrettably, the article closely matches a book chapter published in 2002. The chapter is not cited in the new article.

The recently-published article is entitled “Axisymmetric, Nonstationary Black Hole Magnetospheres: Revisited,” and it was published in October 2015 (vol. 812.1) in The Astrophysical Journal. Here’s evidence of the matching text:

Introduction 2015
The introduction to the 2015 article.

Introduction 2002.jpg
The introduction to the 2002 book chapter.
The first image above shows the recent article. The second image is copied from a book chapter entitled “Stationary versus Nonstationary Force-Free Black Hole Magnetospheres.” The chapter appears in a book called Black Hole Astrophysics 2002, published by World Scientific. The chapter’s sole author is Song’s adviser, Seok Jae Park.

Here’s additional evidence:

abstract 2015
The abstract from the 2015 article.
abstract 2002
The abstract from the 2002 book chapter.
I note that the title of the article published last month has the
word “Revisited” at the end. However, the article does not cite the 2002
book chapter, and the text and equations in the new article are
presented as original.

The author instructions for the American Astronomical Society, publisher of The Astrophysical Journal,
state, “Articles published in the journals of the American Astronomical
Society (AAS) present the results of significant original research that
have not been published previously.”

The new article has updated references and an additional conclusion.
There are additional, minor changes, but the bulk of the text and
equations in the 2015 article appear to duplicate the 2002 work.

I have emailed the AAS and requested an investigation. The journal
has not yet had sufficient time to investigate the case, and I’m sure
AAS will handle it properly. My concern is not with the journal but with
the paper’s authors. An additional complication is that the editor of The Astrophysical Journal, Ethan Vishniac, has co-authored at least one paper with the boy’s dissertation adviser, Seok Jae Park.

Song — who according to Wikipedia started university at age eight —
is set to begin work as a post-doc after he graduates with his
astrophysics Ph.D. in February. Let’s hope he gets some better advising.

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Is this 17 Year-Old Korean Ph.D. Student a Plagiarist? | Scholarly Open Access

Google Scholar Digest


Bibliometrics & the bibliometricians in Google Scholar Citations and ResearcherID, ResearchGate, Mendeley, Twitter

keeping with the research line the EC3 Research Group began several
years ago aimed at unravelling the inner depths of Google Scholar and
testing its capabilities as a tool for scientific evaluation, this time
we have turned our efforts to finding new uses for Google Scholar
Citations (GSC). Based on the information available on every GSC public
profile, a procedure has been developed to collect data from the
scientists working on a given field of study, and to aggregate that data
in order to present metrics at various levels: authors, documents,
journals, and book publishers. Thus, GSC data would presumably allow us
to present a picture of the history and scientific communication
patterns of a discipline. In order to explore the feasibility of this
project, we decided to select the field of Bibliometrics,
Scientometrics, Informetrics, Webometrics, and Altmetrics as our test

we’ve seen the picture of the discipline that can be observed through
the data available in GSC, we also want to compare it to its
counterparts in other academic web services, like ResearcherID, a
researcher identification system launched by Thomson Reuters, mainly
built upon data from Web of Science (which has been and still is the
go-to source for many researchers in the field of research evaluation),
and other profiling services which have arisen in the wake of the Web
2.0 movement: ResearchGate, an academic social network, and Mendeley, a
social reference manager which also offers profiling features. These are
the most widely known tools worldwide for academic profiling . In
addition, we also include the links to the authors' homepages (the first
tool researchers used to showcase their scientific activities on the
Web), and Twitter, the popular microblogging site, in order to learn how
much presence bibliometricians have in this platform and the kind of
communication activities in which they take part there. 

different indicators from 813 authors are displayed. The data is
presented "as is": no filtering or cleaning of the data has been carried
the ranking of 813 bibliometricians who have made their Google Scholar
Citations profile public, and the top 1057 most cited documents in those
two additional rankings have been developed: a journal ranking, and an
publisher ranking  according to the number of citations received.

short, our aim is to present a multifaceted and integral perspective of
the discipline, as well as to provide the opportunity for an easy and
intuitive comparison of these products and the reflections of scientific
activity each of them portrays. In addition, we also want to bring
attention to the new platforms that are offering scientific performance
metrics and look into what their meaning could be. With this step, we
enter the altmetrics conversation, but with a different approach: we do
it from the individuals' perspective, and not only from the perspective
of the documents they publish. In short, to notice what these tools 
really measure while applying it precisely to those who measure

We are currently on an analysis of the data displayed in this product, which will be presented shortly in a working paper.

The product is accessible from:

Google Scholar Digest

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Web of Science - Citation Analysis Guide



image of the words Web of Science
The Web of Science database (composed of: Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index, and Science Citation Index Expanded) is THE original citation research source and along with Google Scholar is the most interdisciplinary and most comprehensive citation resource available to the UM communityWeb of Science extracts the citation information from the articles in over 6,000 journals from almost every discipline.  

But ...

A citation search in the Web of Science is not a complete citation search:

  • Only citations from a set of 7,500+, primarily English-language, journals are counted.

  • Citation
    data from books, conference proceedings, dissertation & theses,
    patents and technical reports are not included in the database;
    therefore fields that publish heavily in the journal literature (such as
    the sciences) are better covered than those that don't (such as

  • Subjects
    are not covered evenly by date; the science journals are covered much
    farther back in time than are the journals in the arts, engineering,
    humanities, and social sciences.

  • Some subject areas are poorly covered including business and education.

This guide will show how to use the Web of Science to:

Find the Citation Count for a Publication

  1. Access Web of Science (sign in for off-campus use, if necessary)
  2. Click on the blue arrow to open a pull-down menu and select "Cited Reference Search." 
  3.  In
    the "Cited Work" box , enter in the journal name and click the search
    button. Use the journal abbreviation list, linked below the search box
    to find the correct abbreviation of the journal name you are searching.
    Example: enter  J Aging Stud for Journal of Aging Studies
  4. Run the search. Once the results are posted, click on Select All and then Finish Search.
  5. The Results number should indicate how many articles in Web of Science cited the journal. Please note:
    The citation count will only include the number of times the
    publication was cited by articles from the journals that Web of Science
    covers. WOS does not count
    citations from every journal published
    around the world, nor does it count citations from books, conference
    proceedings, dissertations/theses, patents, technical reports or other
    types of publications.

Determine What Journal Articles Have Cited a Publication

  1. Follow steps 1-5 above,
    marking all the citations of interest by clicking in the box on the
    left for each item (or using the "Select Page" button to select all
    items on the page).
  2.  Click
    on the "Finish Search" button, located at the top and bottom of the
    page, to retrieve the list of articles that cite the author's
    publications you selected.

  3. Use
    the "Analyze Results" feature to determine any trends in the citing set
    of articles; the "Analyze Results" link is located in the upper right
    of the results list.

    Analyze by:

    • Author to see if a particular person repeatedly cites the publication.
    • Publication
      Year to see when the majority of citations occurred, if citations are
      evenly spread out, and/or if the publication is no longer being cited.
    • Source Title to see if citations are coming from a particular journal.
    • Web of Science Categories to see which fields find this publication of interest.
If you would prefer a more visual representation of citation analysis, try the new citation mapping feature.
Be Aware: Citing publications that are from the conference proceedings module, are not part of the data in the citation analysis reports.

Create a Citation Map for a Publication

those who prefer a more visual presentation of the data in the Analyze
Report feature, a new citation mapping feature was introduced in July
2008 which will display a map of both forward and backward citation
analysis for a single article.

  •  Click on the title of any publication within a results list

  •  On the full record screen, click on the “Citation Map” link (in the area of the screen between the citation and the abstract).  Use the options in the “Appearance” menu to change the screen display.
Be Aware:

  • Citation mapping requires the latest version of JAVA and pop-up blockers must be turned off.

  • Citation
    mapping, at least in the beta version, is only available for a
    specific article; citation mapping cannot be done for a set of results. 

Eliminate Self-Citations From a Citation Count

  1. If you have not already done so, follow steps 1-7 above; this will create a set of the citing references.
  2. Click on the "Search" link located at the top of the page, in the orange box.
  3. Select
    Basic Search. In the search box, put in the author's name with
    lastname, firstinitial* (Example: smith j*) and change the "in" box at
    the right from "Topic" to "Author"; then click on the "Search" button at
    the bottom.
  4. When the search results are displayed, click on the "Back to Search" button, and select "Advanced Search" in the pull-down menu.
  5. In
    the search box type: #A NOT #B (where "A" is the number of the search
    for the "cited author" - i.e., the answer set for step 7 above - and
    where "B" is the number of the search for the author - the answer set
    for step 11 above). Click on the "Search" button at the bottom.
  6. Scroll
    the resulting page down to the "Search History" section to see how many
    items are now in the new results set - this number will be the citation
    count minus the self-citations. To display these citing references,
    click on the citation count in the "Results" column on the left.

Get a Citation Analysis Report for an Author

The Citation Report feature
displays bar charts for the number of items published each year and the
number of citations each year, plus counts for the average number of
citations per item, the number of citations per year per publication,
average number of citations per year per publication, and the H-index.
Be Aware: The
Citation Report only analyzes the correct citations to the author's
journal articles from the journals covered in the Web of Science;
variant-citations are not covered, nor can an analysis be done on an
author's books, conference papers, patents, other non-journal documents
or from journals not covered by the Web of Science.

  •  Access Web of Science (sign in for off campus use, if necessary)

  •  Use the "Search" feature to find all the articles by an author.
    search: Use the author name with first initial, then add "OR author's
    name with first and middle initials". Example: smith j  OR smith jr

  • On the results page, click on the "Create Citation Report" link at the top upper right of the list.

Create a Citaton Analysis Report for a Department or Research Center

The Citation Report feature
displays bar charts for the number of items published each year and the
number of citations each year, plus counts for the average number of
citations per item, the number of citations per year per publication,
average number of citations per year per publication, and the H-index.
Be Aware: The
Citation Report only analyzes the correct citations to the unit's
journal articles published in the journals covered by the Web of
Science; variant-citations are not covered, nor can an analysis be done
on the unit's books, conference papers, patents, other non-journal
documents or on articles from journals not covered by the Web of

  •  Access Web of Science (sign in for off campus use, if necessary)

  •  Use
    the "Search" feature to find all the articles by members of the unit;
    this is generally difficult to do with just one single search

    Use any or all of the following methods to find the unit's journal articles: 

    • If
      there is a small set of articles you want to analyze, do a search for
      each article, searching by either the words in the title or a
      combination search for first author plus words in the title.   Use the
      Advanced Search feature to "OR" the sets together to get one combined
      set that includes all the articles.  Display the combined results set
      and click on the "Create Citation Report" link at the top upper right of
      the list.

    • Do
      an author search for each individual in the unit. Select "Author
      Search" in the pull-down menu. Use the author name with first initial,
      then then click on the "Add Author Name Variant" button to enter the
      author's name with first and middle initials.    
      Example: smith j  or smith jr
      After entering the author's name, click on the "Select Research Domain" button and select one or more research domains.
      After selecting research domains, click on the "Select Organization" button to select one or more research organizations.
      authors work for more than one institution/unit during their career and
      some are appointed to more than one unit at a time.  Whether the
      citation researcher finds this to be a PRO or a CON depends on if s/he
      is trying to find everything the author wrote or just what was written
      for a specific university/unit. 

    • If
      you have multiple sets of answers, use the Advanced Search feature to
      "OR" the individual results sets together to get one combined set.  Once
      you have all the results in a single set of references, click on the
      "Create Citation Report" link at the top upper right of the list.

Determine the Most Highly Cited Papers for an Author

There are two methods for determining the most highly cited papers by an author: 

  •   Less Accurate but Easier & Quicker

    •  Access Web of Science (sign in for off campus use, if necessary)

    •  Use the "Basic Search" feature to find all the articles by an author.
      search: Use the author name with first initial, then add "OR author's
      name with first and middle initials". Example: smith j  or smith jr

    •  On
      the results page, change the “Sort by” box to (upper right of the list)
      to “Times Cited-Highest to Lowest”; the articles that then appear at
      the top of the list are the author’s most cited.

    • Be aware: Although
      easy to do, this method does not account for variant-citations and only
      includes the author’s articles from the journals covered by the Web of

  • More Accurate but Harder & Time-Consuming

    • Follow steps 1-5 above, finding all the correct citations and variant-citations for each of the author’s papers. 

    • Use
      whatever method you find most comfortable (paper, index/flash cards,
      word processor, spreadsheet, etc.) to keep track of the counts for each
      paper and when finished, sort the papers by the “times cited” count. 

Determine the Most Highly Cited Papers for a Journal

This method can only be used for journals
covered by the Web of Science; variant citations are not included in the
citation determination.

  • Access Web of Science (sign in for off campus use, if necessary)
  • Select "Basic Search." Enter the journal name (use
    the journal’s full name) and select "Publication Name" in the pull-down
    menu. Click "Search."
  •  On
    the results page, change the "Sort by" box (upper right of the list) to
    "Times Cited-Highest to Lowest";  the articles that then appear at the
    top of the list are the journal's most cited.

Set Up a Citation Alert for a Journal Article

To be notified whenever an article of interest is cited, use the "Citation Alert" feature.   This feature is only available for articles that appeared in a journal covered by the Web of Science.

  • Access Web of Science (sign in for off campus use, if necessary)

  • Login to your personal account using the "Sign In" link at the top of the page.
    Alerts require registration (free); to register, click on the "Sign In"
    link at the top of the page, in the left column, click on the
    "Register" link and follow instructions.

  • Use the "Search feature" to find the article. 

  •  On the results list, click on the item's title to display the full record.

  • In the right-hand column, click on the "Create Citation Alert" button. Alerts are automatically set for one year.

  • To
    remove an alert, click on the "My Citation Alerts" link at the top of
    the page; when your alerts are displayed, click on the "Modify Settings"
    button and mark which articles you wish to remove from your alerts.

1. Web of Science - Citation Analysis Guide - Research Guides at University of Michigan Library





The word “bibliometrics” is used to designate a set of quantitative methods of analysis of scientific publications. Every aspect of a publication that can be quantified may form the subject of a bibliometric study: the number of words in a paper,
the delay time between submission and publication, etc.  While the
quantitative data concerning a specific paper may be rather boring, they
become more interesting when comparing different publications or for a
statistical study of large sets of publications.

Bibliometrics and research evaluation

the last decades bibliometric methods have become quite fashionable for
the evaluation of scientific research and for the assessment of individual researchers. The most frequently used bibliometric measures are the following:

  • The number of papers published by a given researcher or research group, as an indication of his/its productivity.
  • The frequency with which a published paper is cited in later
    publications by other researchers, as an indication of the interest this
    paper has raised.
  • The frequency with which an electronically available paper is downloaded by readers, as an indication of its importance.
  • The average frequency with which the papers in a given journal are cited during a given time span after publication, as an indication of the scientific quality of the journal or of the thoroughness of its peer review.
Advantages of bibliometric methods and drawbacks

The advantages of bibliometric methods for scientific evaluations are rather obvious:

  • The methods are straightforward, since based on simple counting.
     Many techniques have become especially simple in the digital age,
    because their application can be automated.
  • On first sight they are objective and unbiased.
At the same time, there are some obvious drawbacks in these methods:

  • As quantitative methods they may completely miss the point for a qualitative evaluation.
  • They may be manipulated (e.g., unnecessary citations by your colleagues).
  • The number of citations depends more on the number of people working
    in the same domain, rather than on the intrinsic quality or originality
    of the published results.
  • Since the number of citations is a driving force for evaluating
    researchers in their career promotion, researchers will tend to cling to
    “trendy research” in fields where many other researchers are active and
    where scientific funds can more easily be obtained. The result may be a
    trivialization of research subjects instead of an active search for original research ideas.
  • In practice it has lead to an Anglo-Saxon bias and a strengthening
    of the big players in the publication sector, to the disadvantage of
    small publishers, Southern countries and, e.g., Hispanic, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Arabic and Francophone publications.
This means that one should be very careful in drawing conclusions from

bibliometric methods.  They are at their best as statistical methods,
and therefore also prone to big errors when applied to individual cases.
 Even if it could be proven that there is a strong correlation between
the number of citations and the scientific quality of a paper, it would
be very dangerous to conclude that a paper without citations is
necessarily of low scientific value.

Practical implementations

  • The most widely used bibliometric instrument is formed by the databases of Thomson Reuters (formerly ISI) with its Web of Knowledge, containing citation indices since 1900 and covering 23,000 journals, and the derived Journal of Citation Reports with
    statistical data such as impact parameters for more than 10,000
    journals.  We discuss them below in more detail.  Access to these
    databases, however, requires a very expensive subscription.
  • SCOPUS is an alternative citation database from Elsevier, covering 19,500 journals, also by subscription.
  • Google Scholar offers a good and free alternative.  By searching, e.g.,
    with the author name, you not only obtain a list of publications, but
    for each of them the number of citations and even the link to all citing
    papers. Google Scholar may be a better alternative for the Social
  • CiteSeerX offers an independent free citation database for computer and information sciences.
  • MESUR (MEtrics
    from Scholarly Usage of Resources) was a big project in which the
    access to e-journals was logged at a large number of US university
    campuses, and combined with the above mentioned bibliometric data. One
    of their conclusions, reported in J. Bollen et al. (2009) is that the
    journal impact factor is only of marginal importance and should thus be
    used with caution.

The Thomson Reuters databases

the Thomson Reuters databases and their contained indices and
parameters are most widely used in Western universities and research
funding agencies, we describe them here in some more detail.


history of these databases goes back to the (paper format) citation
indices published by the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) since
1955, as started by Eugene Garfield.  The original intention was not to
evaluate research but to offer an instrument where researchers could
discover the most recent publications by subject.  It was soon realized
that the citations could serve as an additional help for discovering
relevant papers for specialized subjects, and the first citation index
version was published in 1964 as the Science Citation Index (SCI).   Two
years later it became available on magnetic tape, later on CD-Rom and
now – much extended with data from the Social Sciences – on the

The Web of Knowledge

core of the system is still a large index database in which all papers
from more than 13000 journals are registered with their full metadata
and their list of citations, going back to 1955.  Free format searches
can be performed on title, subject, author, journal, author address and
more.  In this sense, it still fulfils its original role as an indexing
instrument.  For each of the search results, not only the full metadata
are reproduced, but also the list of cited references, and the list of
later papers that have cited this one.  From the references, the
database is extended with data about cited journals outside the core of
13000 analyzed journals and before 1955 (going back to 1900).  As of
March 2012 they claim to have 87 million source items, with 700 million
cited references.
For the evaluation of individual researchers and
research teams, the important aspect here is the number of citations
received for each article.

Journal Citation Reports

the data available in this large database, each year a special report
is produced containing a detailed analysis of the citations per journal
for the previous year, and classified by broad subject categories.  We
mention some of them:

  • The total number of articles published in the journal during the concerned year.
  • The total number of citations to each journal during the concerned year.
  • The impact factor: the number of citations during the year to
    articles that appeared in this journal during the two previous years,
    divided by the number of articles that appeared in this journal during
    these two years.  (E.g.: the impact factor of journal X for 2011
    is the number of citations during 2011 to articles that appeared in
    journal X in 2009 and 2010, divided by the number of papers published in
    journal X in these same two years.)  The impact factor therefore
    expresses the average number of times that an article (published in the
    previous 2 years) has been cited during the concerned year.
  • The 5-year impact factor: the same as above, but for 5 years instead
    of 2. (This is important for subject fields that evolve more slowly.)
  • The immediacy index: number of citations in the previous year to
    articles in the journal published in the same year, divided by the
    number of articles published in this year.
  • Journal cited half-life: In order to calculate this half-life all
    citations during the year concerned are counted by year of publication
    of the cited paper, and the half-life is set such that there are as many
    citations to papers before that time span as to papers after that time
    span.  (A short half-life indicates that on average publications in this
    journal may be cited well, but that over time these citations rapidly

Impact factor abuse

present journal impact factors (JIF) are playing a very important role
in research evaluation  procedures in Western countries, in spite of the
fact that they are widely believed to be overestimated.  Because of
this JIF many researchers continue to publish in overly expensive
commercial journals and they often neglect more suitable Open Access
publication channels.  What are the drawbacks of the impact factors?

  • In absolute terms, a JIF reflects for a large part the number of
    people working in a given field.  The highest JIF attributed for 2010 to
    a journal in oncology was 94.3, whereas the highest in ornithology was
    2.3.  To conclude that the research quality in ornithology is so much
    lower than that in cancer research would be preposterous: there are
    clearly more people active in the latter domain.  For this reason, the
    ranking lists of journals per category are more important than the
    individual JIF values.
  • In the same way, it is easier to obtain a high JIF for a journal in a
    domain in full expansion than in a domain where scientific evolution
    has reached a point of quiet maturity.  This should not discourage
    researchers from working in this more quiet field, where still important
    scientific work may be done, even if this will not lead to a high
    number of citations.
  • By its definition, a JIF is an average value for all papers
    published during 2 (or 5) years in the given journal, and does not
    guarantee the quality of an individual paper.

refer to the References for further reflexions about the value of this
and other bibliometric evaluation parameters.  It should be clear that
they must be treated with care: they may be  welcome as additional
information, but they can never replace a good qualitative evaluation of the work performed by a researcher or research group (Georges Stoops, 2009).

Bibliometrics | The Guidelines project :

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

How to use blogging and microblogging to disseminate your research


How to use blogging and microblogging to disseminate your research

Tweeting or blogging can help you publicize your work and expand your network

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Blogs and microblogs (e.g., Twitter)
are vital tools for academics to publicly communicate about research
developments and findings, to announce publications and share
presentations and to write about relevant research issues. You can also
gain feedback from other like-minded academics, as well as expand your
networks and enhance your visibility.

Early Career Resources

This guide is from Elsevier's Early Career Resources,
which provides career development resources for early-career
researchers. The website has sections on search and discovery, writing
and publishing, networking, funding and career planning. Read the
original article and download a PDF here.
visibility online helps your offline recognition. Readers of your blog
and microblogs learn more about who you are as a person, and as a
researcher and professional. As a result, you may even be offered new
academic and professional opportunities, including offers to give
presentations or speeches and invitations to contribute blog posts or
articles to various online or offline publications.

In short,
blogging and microblogging greatly supplement the offline methods of
research dissemination and networking. They are critical online methods
for communicating and engaging with a massive global network of
researchers and peers.

The how-tos of blogging and microblogging


are proven to be effective in disseminating your research. You can
promote in-depth conversation via your blog. You build awareness about
your research and publications by sharing information and responding to
feedback from other researchers.

Create a blog and write regular
blog updates to tell about your research undertakings and other related
topics of interest to you. Provide links to your Elsevier and other
journal articles and publications. Readers can follow and subscribe to
your posts and leave comments.

Get started

with one of the several blogging platforms online and start designing
your website. All you need is a username and password to register. Here
are some of the most popular sites offering simple-to-use blogging
platforms: BloggerWordPressWeeblyTypepad and  MovableType
. Many of the commonly used blogging platforms offer hosting, so you
can easily choose the domain name within the blogging platform itself.
Blogging basics

  • Choose a blogging platform from one of the many available.
  • Think
    of a domain name (url) you would like your blog to have. You can use
    your name or initials, or a keyword from your research.
  • Select a suitable theme for the purposes of your blog.
  • Complete a brief profile in the available section from which new readers can learn a little about you and your research.
  • Create a title for the blog which simply summarizes the main focus of your expected posts.
  • Once
    you have decided on a focus for your blog, such as a particular
    research topic or general topics within your fields of expertise, plan
    to write at least 1 blog post a week.
  • Invite friends and colleagues from your network to follow your blog.
  • Read
    and follow blogs of other academic peers, and leave comments as
    relevant, to drive more readers (who hopefully then become followers) to
    your own blog.
  • Share links to blog posts in all of your social media outlets.
  • Through
    tools offered in your blogging platform, you can analyze how many
    readers find your blog through tweets and other social media outlets.


is the shorter form of blogging. The most popular microblogging site is
Twitter. This form of social information sharing is also a brief and
effective way to announce research and publications, as well as to
attract attention to your website and blog. You can attach documents,
images or videos to your microblogging posts.

Get started

Sign up for free with one of the popular microblogging tools, such as Twitter or Tumblr. All you need is a username and password.

gives you a chance to share quick thoughts, statements and
announcements with followers, using no more than 140 characters. It is a
great way to quickly share your current research, publications,
opinions, questions, and links to new blog posts. You can follow other
researchers and thereby increase your own following.

Twitter basics

  • Create a username and profile. Write a short profile about yourself indicating your research and academic background.
  • Start
    writing posts, called tweets, which are relevant to your research,
    publications, areas of expertise, affiliations, events, etc.
  • Look
    for other academics and professionals within your relevant field to
    follow on Twitter. By following them and commenting on their posts, you
    increase the number of followers of your own tweets. Be patient, it
    takes time to build up a significant number of followers.
  • Use hash tags (#) in front of keywords to aid with indexing of the topics on
  • which you write and to increase attention to your tweets on those and related keywords.
  • Try to write at least 1 tweet per day. With regular tweets, you will ensure more followers.

Share your posts on other social media outlets

After writing a blog post, share the posts via other social media outlets to maximize the outreach of your messages. Use LinkedIn, Facebook, academic social networks like,
and others, to spread the updates. You can connect Twitter with your
other social media profiles so that tweets are posted on them as soon as
you tweet.

By utilizing the many social media outlets to
broadcast your blog and microblog posts, you can acquire more
'followers' and increase the readership of your blog, publications, and
increase your visibility.

SEO for blogs

Using relevant
keywords in your blog posts increases traffic to your blog site, and
relatively to your publications as well. You can discover which keywords
to use that are most relevant to the blog post topic by using the Google AdWords keyword tool.

using a few keywords in a single post enables your blog posts and
referenced publications with similar keywords to gain higher ranking in
the search engines. Specifically, your publications and posts appear
higher in a list of search engine results and are thus more likely to be
read. Do not overuse keywords to the point that it compromises the flow
of the blog post text.

Ethical considerations

It is
important to remember that a blog post, tweet or another microblog
update is public. Even using privacy settings is not a definitive way to
limit access to your posts. Thus, when writing a post or tweet, keep in
mind the possible impact on not only your reputation, but also the
potential impact on your institution, your constituents, affiliations,
and more. You do not want to share a post with information that can be
interpreted as challenging or jeopardizing the position and views, or
exposing secrets, of your relevant affiliations.

How to use blogging and microblogging to disseminate your research

Get noticed - Scholarly Publishing and Current Awareness - Research guides at University of Toronto


Becoming a successful scholar

As a scientist, you are a professional writer.
Success as a scientist is not simply a
function of the quality of ideas we hold in our heads, or of the data we
hold in our hands, but also of the language we use to describe them. We
all understand that "publish of perish" is real and dominates our
professional lives. But "publish or perish" is about surviving, not
succeeding. You don't succeed as a scientist by getting papers published. You succeed as a scientist by getting them cited.
Having your work matter, matters. Success is defined not by the number of pages you have in print, but by their influence.
Schimel, J. (2012). Writing science: How to write papers that get cited and proposals that get funded. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.**

30 tips for successful academic research and writing Deborah Lupton, Impact Blog

  • "Connect for inspiration."
**highly recommended for non-science writers too. 

Measuring your impact

For a comprehensive overview of measuring your impact, visit UTL's Research Impact guide.

"Research impact is the demonstrable contribution that excellent
research makes to society and the economy. Impact embraces all the
extremely diverse ways in which research-related knowledge and skills
benefit individual, organisations and nations..." (Research Councils UK)

Citation Analysis 

Citation analysis is the examination of the frequency, patterns, and
graphs of citations in articles and books. It uses citations in
scholarly works to establish links to other works or
other researchers. Citation analysis is one of the most widely used
methods of bibliometrics. (Wikipedia)

Impact Factor 

frequency with which an "average article" in a journal has been cited
in a given year; evaluative measure of a journal's relative importance. 

Read more about this in founder Eugene Garfield's The Meaning of the Impact Factor. 


The h-index is an author-level metric that
attempts to measure both the productivity and citation impact of
the publications of a scientist or scholar. The index is based on the
set of the scientist's most cited papers and the number of citations
that they have received in other publications. (Wikipedia)

Take a closer look using Google Scholar 

Read more about the h-index:


​ Altmetrics is the creation and study of new metrics based on the Social Web for analyzing, and informing scholarship. (
Altmetrics can be applied to articles,
people, journals, books, data sets, presentations, videos, source code
repositories, web pages, etc.
altmetric tools: 
More reading on altmetrics: 

Other ways to monitor: 

Things to read later: 

Researcher Identity

"This need to uniquely identify researchers and correctly
associate them with their scholarly output has given rise to
bibliometrics and its extension, altmetrics— the attempt to measure the
impact of a work as it is reflected by mentions in social networks and
news media."
(OCLC Report)

Why is researcher identity management important? 

  • Ensures appropriate credit and recognition are given for scholarly output of all types 
  • Helps to make a researcher's work for discoverable 
  • Unambiguously distinguishes you and your work from other researchers 
    • A researcher may have the same name as you (example: John Smith) 
    • You may have different versions of your name floating around (J.M. Smith or John Michael Smith) [read more here on PLOS]

How can you manage your researcher identity? 

Publishers, libraries, and other groups have introduced a variety of
identification schemes to support name disambiguation and help to
capture the full picture of a researcher's work.

Using ORCID to manage your identity: 

  • ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a nonproprietary alphanumeric code to uniquely identify authors. This is an example:
  • ORCID allows for the addition of several types of works, such as: working papers, conference posters, and lecture/speeches. Here is a list of the work types that are currently supported.
  • ORCID is integrated with many of the major stakeholders in
    the research process, such as: funding agencies, publishers, research
    organizations etc. 
Other Resources:

UTL's Research Impact guide has for information on managing your research identity, including identifier options.

Social scholarship

Scholarly communication is often framed as a conversation.
Traditionally, scholars "talked" to each other through their
publications (who they cited, etc.) and f2f at conferences. Today, a
part of the scholarly conversation takes place online.

Introductory readings:

Social networks in academia

Specialized social network sites (SNSs) can be useful for
networking and current awareness.  Chronicle of Higher Education
article: Social Network Sites Proliferate Despite Some Doubts



Social sciences

  • SSRN - Social Science Research Network


Writing an academic blog

"Blogs get way more traffic than your peer reviewed paper ever
will.  The ResearchImpact blog, Mobilize This! (hosted by York
University) has received over 63,000 page views.  Blogs and
microblogging services like Twitter get your research seen by more
non-academics than your peer reviewed papers ever will.  The importance
of this is not to be dismissed. The public believes that they deserve a
return on their public investment in your public research."

Source: "To blog or not to blog"

Academic blogging has exploded in the last few years. Blogs can be useful for:

  • increasing your impact and visibility
  • self-curation
  • entering into conversation with others
  • current awareness
  • following an individual's work

Heap's framework of blog use in digital scholarship.

Purpose Type of scholarship Description of scholarship through blogs
Motivation for beginning and maintaining a blog Open knowledge production Posting and archiving ideas in progress, “half-baked”

Impact Need to construct and control an online academic persona

Audience and public engagement Being accessible to other people

Skills development Experimenting writing online
Benefits of blogging Open knowledge production Informal and faster dissemination of information

Impact Invitation by a blog reader to give keynote presentation

Promoting a book

Audience and public engagement Mediating relationships between academics and non-academics

Complementing blogs with other social software

Skills development Developing self-discipline; clarity in writing
Challenges to address Open knowledge production Information and opinions presented in blogs may be unsustained

Impact Content on blog is vulnerable, may disappear for server problems

Audience and public engagement Care is needed when writing about third parties (people, institutions) in public

Skills development Difficulties in maintaining the activity and managing time
Heap, T., & Minocha, S. (2012). An empirically grounded framework to guide blogging for digital scholarship. Research in Learning Technology, 20, 176-188. doi: 10.3402/rlt.v20i0.19195

Twitter for academics

Twitter is a microblogging service
where you can follow others' posts (tweets) or be followed yourself.
Tweets are grouped by hashtags (#), but can also be searched by word or

Best practices for tweeting at conferences

Types of conference tweets

  1. Session related – discussions about sessions/workshops
  2. Social – arranging unofficial meetings/meeting new people
  3. Logistics – change in room locations/events, information about an individual’s presentation
  4. Advertising – Tweets from companies present at the meetings

Best practices

"5. Attribution is key: Be clear in your tweets
about who is saying what. If you don't attribute and/or use quotation
marks when reporting what has been said, people can (and rightly will)
assume it's you saying it. If the speaker is on Twitter, find out what
they are called on Twitter in advance, as their 'handle' will often be
shorter than their name.

6. If you are quoting directly, use quotation marks.
Think direct and indirect reported speech. Never assume anything you
read online is from the public domain. Attribute other people's ideas or
anything else you quote. It's not just good manners, it's professional

7. Even if you completely disagree with what is being said, always be polite and respectful. Don't tweet anything you wouldn't say to a person or group face-to-face."

Priego, E. (2012, October 3) Live-tweeting at academic conferences: 10 rules of thumb [Blog post]. 


danah boyd is a senior researcher at Microsoft.  In November 2009, she gave a speech at Web 2.0 Expo that didn't go very well.

From her perspective

"And then, within the first two minutes, I started hearing rumblings.
And then laughter. […] I didn’t know what was going on but I kept
hearing sounds that made it very clear that something was happening
behind me that was the focus of everyone’s attention."

Further reading on social scholarship

About academic blogging

Casper, S. T. (2011, April 26). Why academic should blog: A college of one's own [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Conway, D. (2010, June 8). Ten reasons why grad students should blog [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Faulkes, Z. (2013, June 10). Back room science [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Heap, T., & Minocha, S. (2012). An empirically grounded framework to guide blogging for digital scholarship. Research in Learning Technology, 20, 176-188. doi: 10.3402/rlt.v20i0.19195

Kirkup, G. (2010). Academic blogging: Academic practice and academic identity. London Review of Education, 8(1), 75-84. doi: 10.1080/14748460903557803

Powell, D. A., Jacob, C. J., & Chapman, B. J. (2012). Using blogs
and new media in academic practice: Potential roles in research,
teaching, learning, and extension. Innovative Higher Education, 37(4), 271-282. Retrieved from

ResearchImpact. (2011, May 5). To blog or not to blog? [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Weller, M. (2012, April 29). The virtues of blogging as scholarly activity [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Wren-Lewis, S. (2013, January 14). Advice for potential academic bloggers [Blog post]. Retrieved from

About Twitter

boyd, d. (2013). Bibliography of research on Twitter and microblogging. Retrieved from

Chen, B. (2011). Is the backchannel enabled? Using Twitter at
academic conferences. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the
American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA. Retrieved

Gulliver, K. (2012, May 9). 10 commandments of Twitter for academics [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Macademise. (2013, February 22). Academic twittering: What I’ve learned from two months on Twitter [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Priego, E. (2012, October 3) Live-tweeting at academic conference: 10 rules of thumb [Blog post]. Retrieved from

ProfHacker. (2011, February 10). Encouraging a conference backchannel on Twitter. Retrieved from

Ross, C., Terras, M., Warwick, C., & Welsh, A. (2011) Enabled
backchannel: conference Twitter use by digital humanists. Journal of
Documentation, 67(2), 214 -237. doi: 10.1108/00220411111109449

Get noticed - Scholarly Publishing and Current Awareness - Research guides at University of Toronto