Exploring Swiss Higher Education Institutions in Commercial Bibliometric Databases

Map Swissuniversities Institutions

This blogpost covers the main findings and implications of a study of Swiss higher education institutions’ findability in commercial bibliometric databases, conducted within the project “Towards Open Bibliometric Indicators” (TOBI). It underscores the relevance of organisational identifiers and language disambiguation for the findability and visibility of Swiss HEIs in bibliometric databases. It also showcases the … Read more

Change is the only constant (Heraclitus) – Bibliometric practices and activities at the University of Vienna RELOADED

Photo of Vienna University Building, by C Stadler Bwag

University of Vienna (C.Stadler/Bwag; CC-BY-SA-4.0)

“The beginning is the most important part of the work” Laotse Once upon a time – in 2009 to be more precise – a bibliometrics department was implemented within the realms of the Vienna University Library. This was a remarkable move, given that bibliometrics had not yet gained momentum in Austria at that time. Moreover, … Read more

Shenanigans with Impact Factors 2: Thinking in Absolutes and Relatives

Green water drop

"Drop" by Arek Socha, Pixabay

The Impact Factor is Big Business Aside from the infamous H-Index (which “quantifies” researchers), the most widely known concept from scientometrics is the Impact Factor (IF), which “quantifies” journals. Currently owned by Clarivate, the Journal Impact FactorTM is both a brand and a big business. Many copycats have tried to compete with the IF, but … Read more

A Hierarchical Classification System of Research Fields to Understand Research Interconnectedness

Abstract illustration of the interconnectedness of institutions, researchers, labs and publications

Today’s challenges in scientometrics include overemphasis on existing metrics and the need for improved interdisciplinary indices [1,2,3,5,8]. An interdisciplinary project team based at ETH Zurich, co-lead by Prof. Peter Egger (economist) and Prof. Ce Zhang (computer scientist), addressed this issue by developing a hierarchical classification system that categorizes publications into disciplines, fields, and subfields based … Read more

National Coordination for Reforming Research Assessment

Pexels Dana Tentis

Image based on a work by Dana Tentis, Pexels

CoARA (www.coara.eu) is being adopted by a number of Swiss higher education institutions. The 10 principles of CoARA imply a profound change in the criteria for evaluating scientific research, and at all levels of this evaluation, in a systemic way. For a successful implementation, university management will therefore need the support of researchers within their … Read more

Shenanigans with Impact Factors 1: The curious case of Acta Crystallographica Section A

Pink water drop

"Drop" by Arek Socha, Pixabay

“More is better” surely also applies to the journal impact factor (IF), wouldn’t you agree? A paper published in a high IF journal clearly must create a significant impact in the research community. Or is that an oversimplification? Taking a closer look, we will see how an impact factor can go up and down unexpectedly. … Read more

How important are international collaborations for research in Switzerland and the UK?

Figure 2 Cropped

Switzerland and the UK are partly barred from participation in the huge research programme Horizon Europe. This limits access to research funding for scientists in both countries and might hinder international collaborations in larger projects. The loss of these funding opportunities and a potential loss of EU collaborations might have a negative impact on these … Read more

The wonderful world of Open Science? The case of eLife

The case of eLife, a life science journal, shows that Open Science is not an easy task and can generate many open questions and uncertainties in the assessment of research. eLife drastically changed its peer review procedure this year, for example, by revoking editorial decisions for acceptance and rejection of a manuscript. Perhaps disciplines focusing on individual assessment, such as psychology or medicine, could give some perspectives on how to deal with uncertainty in research assessment. A broader set of information is necessary that includes peer review ratings and a set of bibliometric indicators beyond the classical citation impact indicators. The quality of information in terms of reliability, validity, and fairness should be explicitly taken into account.

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