Archive by category | Citation analysis

Nature Genetics on conclusion by exclusion

Nature Genetics on conclusion by exclusion

“Science is a way to distinguish things we know not to be true from other things. Large challenges lie ahead as we apply the scientific method to understanding biochemical systems, cellular organization and the functions of complex organs such as the brain.” So begins the February Editorial in Nature Genetics (42, 95; 2010). If the success of the early years of molecular biology can be attributed to the simplicity of the problems to solve, combined with rigorous experimental design including disprovable hypotheses and decisive experiments, what of todays immensely more complex scientific landscape and greatly increased number of scientists, not to mention orders of magnitude more computer power? Are we better equipped to generate, experimentally test, and choose or discard competing hypotheses?  Read more

Cite well, says Nature Chemical Biology

Cite well, says Nature Chemical Biology

Scientists need to devote more attention to the citation lists of scientific papers—the connectivity and usefulness of the scientific literature depend upon it. The February Editorial in Nature Chemical Biology ( 6, 79; 2009) explores how “citations of published work link together the concepts, technologies and advances that define scientific disciplines. Though information technology and databases have helped us to better manage the expanding scientific literature, the quality of our citation maps still hinges on the quality of the bibliographic information contained in each published paper. Because article citations are increasingly used as metrics of researcher productivity, the citation record also affects individual scientists and their institutions. As a result, all participants in the scientific publication process need to ensure that the citation network of the scientific literature is as complete and accurate as possible.”  … Read more

EMBO reports asks “Is the end in cite?”

In a Correspondence to EMBO reports ( 10, 1186; 2009), Mark Patterson asks how we can avoid Howy Jacobs’s “light-hearted nightmare scenario” of the future of citation-based metrics. Patterson, director of publishing at the Public Library of Science (PLoS), presents his own organization’s article-level metrics, as a better alternative to the journal-level metrics that are currently in most common use as research output measures. He writes: “Article-level data are not without their problems, and so it is important to interpret the data carefully. But, we believe that providing the data in the first place will inspire new ideas about how to assess research.  Read more

Data producers deserve citation credit, says Nature Genetics

Datasets released to public databases in advance of (or with) research publications should be given digital object identifiers to allow databases and journals to give quantitative citation credit to the data producers and curators, according to the October Editorial of Nature Genetics (41, 1045; 2009) .  Read more

Nature journals’ impact factors for 2008

Thomson Reuters have just announced the 2008 Impact Factors. Nature is the top journal in the multidisciplinary science category by all Thomson Reuters’ new metrics: 5 year Impact Factor, Eigenfactor and article influence score. It is also the top of all journals in the Journal of Citation Reports (Thomson Reuters, 2009) listing (n=6,598) by Eigenfactor score. Here are the 2008 Impact Factors for the Nature journals that publish primary research:  … Read more

Nature Cell Biology encourages citation to primary research

Citations are an important component in the assessment of academic performance. Yet the growing literature, combined with format constraints of journals, encourage citation of reviews in preference to primary research. This diverts academic credit from the discoverer. (From the January Editorial of Nature Cell Biology 11, 1; 2009, free to access online)  … Read more

Seminar on publishing excellence and citation data

Nature Publishing Group (NPG) and Thomson Reuters are holding a joint seminar on publishing excellence and how to correctly interpret journal citation data on 23 January 2009 in Sydney, Australia. This seminar will go into detail about the use and misuse of impact factors along with a presentation by senior editor Leslie Sage on how to get published in Nature.  Read more

Authors on authorship, collaboration and output measures

Publishing a paper in a journal has traditionally marked the end of a research project, but increasing numbers of academics are becoming interested in the publication process itself, according to the Editorial in the November issue of Nature Nanotechnology (3, 633; 2008). Many of these ‘papers about papers’ are concerned with citations and impact factors — researchers looking to get more citations for their papers are advised to write longer papers, work in teams or write the first paper on a topic (references in the Editorial). However, other authors have started to look behind the scenes at issues such as the changing nature of collaboration. The Editorial goes on to discuss some of these issues, including the h-index, a relatively recent yet controversial method of assessing a scientist’s output.  Read more