Bibliometrics at the Crossroads – seminar in Gothenburg

Bibliometrics is in focus for many universities at the moment and has been for a while. This is partly due to the report about performance based resource allocation for universities by Anders Flodström and partly because scientific publishing with peer-reviewed articles is going though changes. All communication is changing and getting faster, so also scientific communication. The changes occur for instance in the way new scientific results are spread though blogs, institutional repositories, open access journals and open access monographs. How can we then measure the scientific performance?

The Swedish School of Library and Information Science and Chalmers Library arrange a half-day seminar on bibliometrics and scientific publishing on May 23rd in Gothenburg. Professor Blaise Cronin from the School of Library and Information Science, Indiana University, USA will be talking about the changing conditions of scientific communication and Gustaf Nelhans from the University of Gothenburg and the University of Borås will talk about impact and indicators in the humanities and social sciences. The seminar will end with a panel discussion where the two previously named men will be accompanied by Ulf Cronman, the coordinator for openaccess.se, Tore Lund, biblometrician at Chalmers and Mats Viberg, first vice president at Chalmers University of Technology.

The seminar is open for all staff and students at the University of Borås but you have to RSVP by 11 May to stina.johansson@chalmers.se

Read more about the programme for Bibliometrics at the Crossroads.

Visualize research

Have you ever thought that it would be interesting to see which patterns exists within the scientific publishing? Maybe you need to find both historic and new trends within your research area for your student thesis or your research article? Or maybe you just want to localize the experts within your area of interest?

Then you could use Springer’s AuthorMapper (Maybe we should not be promoting Springer anymore than we do Elsevier but Springer at least is not working against open access and researcher’’s rights the same way as Elsevier is doing.) Anyway, back to AuthorMapper. You could start by doing a search or maybe you just want to browse among the subjects. Just remember that this service only covers Springer Journals and Springer Books, which means that the results do not probably cover everything but they may give you an indication of how research looks within your specific area.

In this picture below a search for University of Boråås has been done. The results show which researchers have been collaborating, which articles have been written, you can even see bibliographic data for the articles. You cannot access the articles directly if you are not somewhere in the University’’s buildings and the library also has to have a subscription to the journal. You can also see in which journals most articles within a field are published, which researchers have written the most etc.

For your sake and for the University’’s sake it is very important to use the name University of Boråås and the official name of your department when writing your address information when publishing articles and not any other names. If we search for University of Boråås in AuthorMapping we would get a different result than if we searched for University College of Boråås. Try searching in AuthorMapping with the different university names and compare the results. You will notice that results differ. This is a good example of how difficult it can be to find all research from a department. It also shows the importance of using uniform names.

In addition to searching institutions you can also search author name, subject, journal name, country, publisher (within Springer’’s umbrella) and you may limit your search by year and to only include articles from open access journals. If you start writing a keyword like bio soon words where bio is a part of will be loaded, e.g. biomedicine, biochemistry or evolutionary biology. You can choose between them and add more keywords if you want.

In this picture (statistik.jpg) a search with keyword biomedicine was done. You can see on the left of the picture which institution has produced most scientific publications where the term biomedicine is present. You can also see which researcher has written most and which journal is the main journal within the area. This type of data may help you to form an opinion about your research area and which important actors there are on the field. This is easy, basic and valuable bibliometrics!

Text: Pieta Eklund