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Archive for August, 2020

Introducing the new UCL bibliometrics policy

Kirsty26 August 2020

UCL has recently launched its new bibliometrics policy, which sets out principles for the use of citation metrics in research assessment across the university. It aims for sensible, fair, and balanced use of metrics in research assessment that values research and researchers on their own merits, moves away from some of the more inappropriate methods like focusing on the impact factor of journals or the h-index of authors, recognises diversity in research practice and outputs, and emphasises that the use of citation metrics is not mandatory.

This is an important step in supporting the use of Open Science and Scholarship across UCL. A key aspect of the open science movement has been in challenging traditional ways of disseminating research – whether that be through publishing in Open Access journals, opening up peer review, disseminating work at an early stage via preprints, or a range of other methods.

Many of these approaches, however, do not fit well with traditional methods of assigning credit using citation metrics.

For example, a relentless focus on the impact factor was a barrier to early adoption of open access journals. Newly created Open Access journals – which did not qualify for an impact factor – were seen as lower quality than the established journals, deterring authors from submitting to them. Similarly, megajournals, which did not cherry-pick papers for “significance”, had impact factors substantially lower than more selective titles – an author who was being judged on impact factors would be less keen to publish there.

In addition, limitations of the citation databases can penalise supporting material like data or code, which are often not indexed properly – if they are cited at all. This makes them appear less significant than they are. Similarly, preprints often get the majority of their citations before they are “published” – and these may not be tracked or credited accurately.

Factors like this mean that a focus on using traditional metrics can actively deter people from adopting Open Science approaches for their articles or their data. It is of vital importance that the ways we assess research do not discourage people from being able to conduct their research in the way that is best for them, and best for the wider research community.

Our new policy tries to move away from traditional uses of metrics, emphasising that citation-based metrics are not always appropriate and we do not have to use them if they’re not generally accepted in the field. Where they are used, we should avoid trying to impose a one-size-fits-all model, and consider all works in context.

Alongside the policy, we have provided detailed guidance for using alternative metrics, going beyond the impact factor or simple citation counts to assess citations in the context of other comparable work. We have also created the video below, and a Moodle module to walk you through the key elements.

 

RPS and ORCID – 3 ways to play! 

Catherine Sharp12 August 2020

We have written a number of posts recently about ORCID and other identifiers, and another introducing you to a new feature of RPS, but we could tell you wanted more!  

So, as we discussed in our last RPS blog post, you can now link your ORCID iD to RPS, and use it to send your publications from RPS into your ORCID record. Nearly 1,000 UCL researchers have started sending publications from RPS to ORCID in the last 3 months. It’s been possible to use your ORCID iD to find publications for RPS for some time, but there are several different options for how both these things are done, and how much data is sent and received by the two systems, so let’s take a look at them.  

When you link your ORCID iD to RPS in RPS > Menu > MyAccount > ORCID Settings, you’ll be given three options. The first is the most restrictive: Only use my ORCID to support automatic claimingIf you choose this option, RPS won’t access your ORCID record at all. It’ll simply use your ORCID iD to help verify your identity in the papers found in other sources. In essence RPS works exactly the same as it always has, finding publications in external sources like Web of Science and Scopus, but it has one more piece of data to use when it’s identifying your papers. It’ll then claim those papers automatically for you.    

The second option is similar but it does allow RPS to use your ORCID profile. Read data from my ORCID account looks at the content of your ORCID record to improve the accuracy of its searches when it looks for new papers in its usual sources.  

The final option is Read from and write publication data to my ORCID account. This is the best and most useful option, and it also gives you more choices! This option gives RPS permission to send publications to your ORCID record, so you don’t have to add them yourself. It also allows RPS to read the content of your ORCID record to improve the accuracy of its searches when it looks for new papers in its usual sources (as in option 2). 

Read from and write publication data to my ORCID account will send everything from RPS to your ORCID record, but you can select some restrictions as follows:  

  1. You can choose to only send Published journal articles to your ORCID. This means that articles that have the status of acceptedsubmitted, in preparation or no status won’t be sent. This will also apply to pre-prints where these have been added to RPS.  
  1. You can choose whether or not to send publications where your relationship to them has been marked as private. It won’t stop them ending up in a co-author’s ORCID record, but it will stop them appearing in yours.  
  1. You can choose to send only your favourite publications. This option is good if you want to curate your ORCID for use as a CVif you have a large number of papers coming into RPS and ORCID from different sources, such as pre-print servers, or if most of your publications are already in your ORCID record and you want to avoid duplicates. The downside of this option is that you need to remember to favourite each new paper as it goes into RPS – it’s not a big thing, but it will slow the process down. 

Whichever option you choose, make sure you add your ORCID to RPS, but it is equally important that you use it elsewhere – link it to other systems, and especially to your publications, grants, and even Je-S. The more you use your ORCID, the more reliable it becomes as an identifier, and as a representation of your work all in one place!