ImpactStory is a web-based open source platform, made to help researchers keep track on their research output. Especially output that is not traditionally measured.You can for instance get statistics from GitHub and software that you have created.

At the moment it feels like the amount off different tools to measure this kind of data is exploding. And you start asking yourself; how much work is demanded to be active on all the platforms. I think it is important to look on things like: What is the benefit of this tool? Am i already part of communities that do this for me? Where are my colleagues active?

ImpactStory as a tool seem to be something between a research profile and a altmetrics tool. They market themselves as:

“Your CV, but better.

Impactstory looks great and works beautifully. The new standard for scientific CVs.
Pietro Gatti Lafranconi, Cambridge University””

Well it is an exiting tool, here is a video on how you can connect your Google account to ImpactStory:

You find the website on ImpactStory.

Text: Thomas


Journals in the Norwegian system

The Norwegian system is a bibliometric model for resource allocation. It is said to measure publishing activity. Scientific publications are scored according to the channel (publisher, journal/series, web page) and form (article, chapter in a book, monograph) of the publication. The critiques of the model say that this and other similar models dismisses the quality of an individual publication and instead concentrates on the packaging (journal or publisher) of it.

However this it the reality. Citations and this type of models are improperly used to indicate the quality of a publication. In the Norwegian system the channels are divided in two: level 1 and level 2. Publications on level 2 are granted more points than publications on level 1. How these are converted to points is decided by each univeristy: how many points are given to an article, chapter in a book or a monograph published in level 2 journals or publishers.

The database for publishing channels.

Use the advanced search to limit your search for specific types of publication channels. If you want to find Swedish level 2 journals, choose Sweden in the fiedl for contry and level 2 in the Scientific level. You will find there are 9 journals which fill these requirements. You can limit your search to other countries or disciplines or even to open access. The list is evolving and you have a possibility to suggest journals or publishers.

Pieta Eklund

Misleading metrics

It is not just the quick peer review process, low publishing costs that attract researchers to publish in gray open access journals, it is also the demands from the unverisities and others who demand that reseach results should be spread (published) – preferably in open access journals. Due to different reasons the market for gray open access journals and publishers has grown bigger and it has been and continues to be difficult to differentiate between a respectable and gray journals. There are som signs which can help one to decide whether a journal/publisher is serious or not, among other things guide to gray journals and Scholarly Open Access blog.

One of the signs of a serious journals has been Journal Impact Factor (JIF). It indicates how many of a journal’s articles are cited and how many times during a specific time period, often two or five years. It is Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Report (JCR) (only available for staff and students of University of Borås via this link, there are no free resources to control whether a journals has JIF or not) which calculates these numbers. Scopus (a product from Elsevier) has calculated similar numbers but called it SJR (SCImago Journal Rank). The companies do not have the same method to calculate the numbers. A journal can have both JIF/SJR, one or the other or neither.

The reason impact factor is important is that researchers receive points in different evaluations based on in which journals they have published their research and in the end receive money for publications in high impact journals. It might take several years for a journal to get an impact which is calculated in JCR. There are some criteria for a journal to receive JCR, e.g. journal has had to exist some years, be published in a timely fashion and have high enough quality according to JCR to be included in their journal index. This means that there are only a few, if any, gray journals which could have an impact factor.

The problem now is that during the last year quite a few web pages have been created which state that they calculate impact factor for journals. This is due to the high competition among gray journals and one way to come ahead in the competition is to have an impact factor. There are two ways for gray journals to have an impact factor: lie or buy one from these companies dealing with misleadning metrics.[1]

There is a list of pages dealing with misleadning metrics.

In the example below the company has tried to give an example of how they calculate ASI-Impact factor. Compare the text from ASI to that from Wikipedia; ASI hase plagiarized their text from Wikipedia. Click to enlarge the images.

asi wikiPieta Eklund

[1] There are those who say it is good these companies exist because maybe the decision makers and research evaluators would not use impact factor to describe the quality of research articles and journals.

Inspirational day on publishing

A while back we organized an inspirational day on publishing. Our Vice-Chancellor welcomed everyone and the chairs of our research boards talk about publising. Martin G Erikson talked about scientific publishing and his own reflections on the matter. He was talking about if our research is scientific and what does our mission statement “science for professions” mean in research context. Lars Hallnäs talked about the dangers of publish or perish – when researchers must produce more and more publications but do not have time to do the research and that  a researcher does not have the possibility to be a little bit crazy with his/her research ideas because research financers do not want to pay for “crazy” research.

The day continued with Björn Hammarfelt and his presentation on bibliometrics. He talked about what bibliometrics is, why is it of interest for researchers and how do we work with bibliometrics. Gustaf Nelhans continued on the bibliometrics theme.He talked about bibliometrics as a tool for evaluation and citations being equated with quality. He did stress with Eugene Garfields words that “impact is not the same as importance or significance“. He talked also about resource allocation models.

Before lunch and the afternoon workshops on open access and bibliometrics Helena Francke and Pieta Eklund presented the open access publishing situation. The different ways to open access, research funders’ mandates on open access (especially Horizon 2020) and what kind for research service the library could offer.

The participants were content with they day and thought that the practical elements of the workshops added value to the day. The day clarified some aspects on publishing and bibliometrics. There was interest for similar theme days among the participants and as it happens a day is planned, 14th of May, around research funding and review of reseach applications. Book the day in you calendar!

Pieta Eklund