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Publications, Volume 5, Issue 3 (September 2017)

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Cover Story Hirsch's h-index has popularized citation counting as the primary means of measuring scientific [...] Read more.
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Research

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Open AccessCommunication Measurement of Similarity in Academic Contexts
Publications 2017, 5(3), 18; doi:10.3390/publications5030018
Received: 2 March 2017 / Accepted: 19 June 2017 / Published: 22 June 2017
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Abstract
We propose some reflections, comments and suggestions about the measurement of similar and matched content in scientific papers and documents, and the need to develop appropriate tools and standards for an ethically fair and equitable treatment of authors. Full article
Open AccessArticle Improving the Measurement of Scientific Success by Reporting a Self-Citation Index
Publications 2017, 5(3), 20; doi:10.3390/publications5030020
Received: 18 April 2017 / Accepted: 31 July 2017 / Published: 1 August 2017
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Abstract
Who among the many researchers is most likely to usher in a new era of scientific breakthroughs? This question is of critical importance to universities, funding agencies, as well as scientists who must compete under great pressure for limited amounts of research money.
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Who among the many researchers is most likely to usher in a new era of scientific breakthroughs? This question is of critical importance to universities, funding agencies, as well as scientists who must compete under great pressure for limited amounts of research money. Citations are the current primary means of evaluating one’s scientific productivity and impact, and while often helpful, there is growing concern over the use of excessive self-citations to help build sustainable careers in science. Incorporating superfluous self-citations in one’s writings requires little effort, receives virtually no penalty, and can boost, albeit artificially, scholarly impact and visibility, which are both necessary for moving up the academic ladder. Such behavior is likely to increase, given the recent explosive rise in popularity of web-based citation analysis tools (Web of Science, Google Scholar, Scopus, and Altmetric) that rank research performance. Here, we argue for new metrics centered on transparency to help curb this form of self-promotion that, if left unchecked, can have a negative impact on the scientific workforce, the way that we publish new knowledge, and ultimately the course of scientific advance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Publication Metrics)
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Open AccessArticle Measuring Time-Dynamics and Time-Stability of Journal Rankings in Mathematics and Physics by Means of Fractional p-Variations
Publications 2017, 5(3), 21; doi:10.3390/publications5030021
Received: 19 August 2017 / Revised: 14 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
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Abstract
Journal rankings of specific research fields are often used for evaluation purposes, both of authors and institutions. These rankings can be defined by means of several methods, as expert assessment, scholarly-based agreements, or by the ordering induced by a numeric index associated to
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Journal rankings of specific research fields are often used for evaluation purposes, both of authors and institutions. These rankings can be defined by means of several methods, as expert assessment, scholarly-based agreements, or by the ordering induced by a numeric index associated to the prestige of the journals. In order to be efficient and accepted by the research community, it must preserve the ordering over time, at least up to a point. Otherwise, the procedure for defining the ranking must be revised to assure that it reflects the presumably stable characteristic “prestige” that it claims to be quantifying. A mathematical model based on fractional p-variations of the values of the order number of each journal in a time series of journal rankings is explained, and its main properties are shown. As an example, we study the evolution of two given ordered lists of journals through an eleven-year series. These journal ranks are defined by using the 2-year Impact Factor of Thomson-Reuters (nowadays Clarivate Analytics) lists for MATHEMATICS and PHYSICS, APPLIED from 2002 to 2013. As an application of our model, we define an index that precludes the use of journal ranks for evaluation purposes when some minimal requirements on the associated fractional p-variations are not satisfied. The final conclusion is that the list of mathematics does not satisfy the requirements on the p-variations, while the list of applied physics does. Full article
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Open AccessConcept Paper A Proposed Currency System for Academic Peer Review Payments Using the BlockChain Technology
Publications 2017, 5(3), 19; doi:10.3390/publications5030019
Received: 23 May 2017 / Accepted: 10 July 2017 / Published: 14 July 2017
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Abstract
Peer review of scholarly papers is seen to be a critical step in the publication of high quality outputs in reputable journals. However, it appears that there are few incentives for researchers to agree to conduct suitable reviews in a timely fashion and
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Peer review of scholarly papers is seen to be a critical step in the publication of high quality outputs in reputable journals. However, it appears that there are few incentives for researchers to agree to conduct suitable reviews in a timely fashion and in some cases unscrupulous practices are occurring as part of the production of academic research output. Innovations in internet-based technologies mean that there are ways in which some of the challenges can be addressed. In particular, this paper proposes a new currency system using the BlockChain as its basis that provides a number of solutions. Potential benefits and problems of using the technology are discussed in the paper and these will need further investigation should the idea develop further. Ultimately, the currency could be used as an alternative publication metric for authors, institutions and journals. Full article
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