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Evaluating Authors, Articles, and Journals

Information about assessing researchers, publications, and journals and increasing the impact of your scholarship.

Web of Science and JCR subscriptions ending

UTHSC Library administration has made the decision to end the UTHSC campus subscription to Web of Science and companion Journal Citation Reports from Clarivate Analytics effective Jan. 1, 2021.  This decision was informed by usage statistics and redundancy as well as a new requirement by the vendor that a Web of Science subscription is a prerequisite to subscribing to JCR.

Scopus from Elsevier will remain as a citation database.  And we have added Embase, a Biomedical citation database with more European coverage, including many titles not in PubMed, as well as other pharmaceutical sources.

For other metrics formerly available in JCR please consult this Research Impact Metrics guide maintained by Jess Newman, Research Data and Scholarly Communication Lead.  Please contact her or your library liaison with your research metric needs.

Sincerely,

Paul Gahn, Assistant Director for Electronic and Collection Services

Introduction

An Overview of Scholarly Communications

Scholarly Communication is the means by which researchers and scholars produce, disseminate, assess, and discover academic research (American Library Association, 2006). 

Online platforms have greatly expanded what scholarly work can be shared. Without the limitations of print journals, scholars can share more of their work and research process to a much wider audience, such as datasets, audio and video, multimedia presentations, working reports, and blogs. These non-article products may provide new opportunities for collaboration, assessing scholarly impact, and obtaining funding, especially for early career researchers. Researchers are increasingly sharing their work in a variety of forms and venues, including submitting clinical trial data to data repositories, publishing preprints to servers like medRxiv, and moderating public Q & A sessions on popular discussion sites like Twitter and Reddit.

Research Impact Metrics are tools and formulas that attempt to assess the quality, reach, or impact of a research product (Gasparan et al., 2018). Most commonly, the products of research are peer-reviewed journal articles. Article citation counts are the most common means of measuring an articles impact, but far from the only option (Cooper, 2015). Assessment metrics in scholarly communication can be broken down in two ways, by level of focus and by methodological approach. It is important to note that assessment metrics are increasingly driven by the institutional and professional pressures of "publish or perish". Competition for career advancement and funding opportunities necessitate some standardization in evaluation of scholars and scholarly work, but not all measures are created equal and, as with any tool, it is vital to know what is actually being measured. Upon better understanding these metrics we might find more accurate ways to judge scholarly quality and, in doing so, identify more impactful ways to communicate research.

Bibliography

  1. American Library Association. (2006, September 1). Principles and strategies for the reform of scholarly communication https://www.ala.org/acrl/publications/whitepapers/principlesstrategies
  2. Gasparyan, A. Y., Yessirkepov, M., Duisenova, A., Trukhachev, V. I., Kostyukova, E. I., & Kitas, G. D. (2018). Researcher and Author Impact Metrics: Variety, Value, and Context. Journal of Korean medical science33(18), e139. https://doi.org/10.3346/jkms.2018.33.e139
  3. Cooper I. D. (2015). Bibliometrics basics. Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA103(4), 217–218. https://doi.org/10.3163/1536-5050.103.4.013