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 (registering DOI) -
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 AccessArticle
Improving the Measurement of Scientific Success by Reporting a Self-Citation Index
Publications 2017, 5(3), 20; doi:10.3390/publications5030020 -
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
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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 -
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
Open AccessCommunication
Measurement of Similarity in Academic Contexts
Publications 2017, 5(3), 18; doi:10.3390/publications5030018 -
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 AccessEditorial
Peer Review and Churchill
Publications 2017, 5(2), 17; doi:10.3390/publications5020017 -
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Peer Review in Controversial Topics—A Case Study of 9/11
Publications 2017, 5(2), 16; doi:10.3390/publications5020016 -
Abstract
Beginning with an historical reminiscence, this paper examines the peer review process as experienced by authors currently seeking publication of their research in a highly controversial area. A case study of research into the events of 9/11 (11 September 2001) illustrates some of
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Beginning with an historical reminiscence, this paper examines the peer review process as experienced by authors currently seeking publication of their research in a highly controversial area. A case study of research into the events of 9/11 (11 September 2001) illustrates some of the problems in peer review arising from undue influences based on financial and political considerations. The paper suggests that ethical failures, rather than flaws in the process itself, are mainly responsible for perceived problems. The way forward lies in improved ethics and a more open process. In addition, editorial review boards and peer review strategies would help to improve the ethics of peer review in general. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Trust Framework for Online Research Data Services
Publications 2017, 5(2), 14; doi:10.3390/publications5020014 -
Abstract
There is worldwide interest in the potential of open science to increase the quality, impact, and benefits of science and research. More recently, attention has been focused on aspects such as transparency, quality, and provenance, particularly in regard to data. For industry, citizens,
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There is worldwide interest in the potential of open science to increase the quality, impact, and benefits of science and research. More recently, attention has been focused on aspects such as transparency, quality, and provenance, particularly in regard to data. For industry, citizens, and other researchers to participate in the open science agenda, further work needs to be undertaken to establish trust in research environments. Based on a critical review of the literature, this paper examines the issue of trust in an open science environment, using virtual laboratories as the focus for discussion. A trust framework, which has been developed from an end-user perspective, is proposed as a model for addressing relevant issues within online research data services and tools. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis of Editor Behavior through Potentially Coercive Citations
Publications 2017, 5(2), 15; doi:10.3390/publications5020015 -
Abstract
How much is the h-index of an editor of a well-ranked journal improved due to citations which occur after his/her appointment? Scientific recognition within academia is widely measured nowadays by the number of citations or h-index. Our dataset is based on
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How much is the h-index of an editor of a well-ranked journal improved due to citations which occur after his/her appointment? Scientific recognition within academia is widely measured nowadays by the number of citations or h-index. Our dataset is based on a sample of four editors from a well-ranked journal (impact factor, IF, greater than 2). The target group consists of two editors who seem to benefit by their position through an increased citation number (and subsequently h-index) within the journal. The total amount of citations for the target group is greater than 600. The control group is formed by another set of two editors from the same journal whose relations between their positions and their citation records remain neutral. The total amount of citations for the control group is more than 1200. The timespan for which the citations’ pattern has been studied is 1975–2015. Previous coercive citations for a journal’s benefit (an increase of its IF) has been indicated. To the best of our knowledge, this is a pioneering work on coercive citations for personal (editors’) benefit. Editorial teams should be aware about this type of potentially unethical behavior and act accordingly. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Cover Story: Music Educators Journal and Historical-Political Narrativity
Publications 2017, 5(2), 13; doi:10.3390/publications5020013 -
Abstract
This article reports results of a comprehensive content analysis of the 644 Music Educators Journal (MEJ) covers published between September 1914 and December 2015. For more than a century, MEJ’s covers conveyed carefully selected visual and textual imagery to all
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This article reports results of a comprehensive content analysis of the 644 Music Educators Journal (MEJ) covers published between September 1914 and December 2015. For more than a century, MEJ’s covers conveyed carefully selected visual and textual imagery to all members of the growing association. The results of the content analysis were secondarily analyzed for elements of historical narrativity and political narrativity in music education. Results indicate that imagery related to nationalism and patriotism increased during times of conflict, the representation of people diversified as time progressed, and there is evidence that the first images of Black people on MEJ covers were intentionally placed for maximum impact. The article includes related historical information about MEJ and its evolving editorial processes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Selfish Memes: An Update of Richard Dawkins’ Bibliometric Analysis of Key Papers in Sociobiology
Publications 2017, 5(2), 12; doi:10.3390/publications5020012 -
Abstract
In the second edition of The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins included a short bibliometric analysis of key papers instrumental to the sociobiological revolution, the intention of which was to support his proposal that ideas spread within a population in an epidemiological manner.
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In the second edition of The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins included a short bibliometric analysis of key papers instrumental to the sociobiological revolution, the intention of which was to support his proposal that ideas spread within a population in an epidemiological manner. In his analysis, Dawkins primarily discussed the influence of an article by British evolutionary biologist William Donald Hamilton which had introduced the concept of “inclusive fitness”, and he argued that citations to it were accumulating in a very different manner to two other seminal papers, demonstrating the appearance and spread of a new “meme” in circles. This paper re-examines Dawkins’ original analysis and the conclusions drawn from it, and updates those conclusions based on citation data accumulated in the intervening three decades since . This updated analysis shows that patterns of citation for the three papers, and Dawkins’ book itself, are actually remarkably similar and show no qualitative difference in citation growth. The data are well described by a two-phase exponential model of citation growth in which citations accumulate rapidly and then saturate at a slower level of growth dictated primarily by the general increase in production. It is speculated that this two-phase exponential growth, with some modification to account for papers that are not immediately discovered, may be a signature that will help to reveal the emergence of genuinely novel ideas within the literature. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperShort Note
Thirteen Ways to Write an Abstract
Publications 2017, 5(2), 11; doi:10.3390/publications5020011 -
Abstract
The abstract is a crucial component of a research article. Abstracts head the text—and sometimes they can appear alone in separate listings (e.g., conference proceedings). The purpose of the abstract is to inform the reader succinctly what the paper is about, why and
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The abstract is a crucial component of a research article. Abstracts head the text—and sometimes they can appear alone in separate listings (e.g., conference proceedings). The purpose of the abstract is to inform the reader succinctly what the paper is about, why and how the research was carried out, and what conclusions might be drawn. In this paper we consider the same (or a similar) abstract in 13 different formats to illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperCommunication
Authorship of Retraction Notices: “If Names Are Not Rectified, Then Language Will Not Be in Accord with Truth.”
Publications 2017, 5(2), 10; doi:10.3390/publications5020010 -
Abstract
Retraction notices appear regularly in many scholarly journals, especially top-tier journals of science and engineering. One disconcerting feature of this emergent genre is evasion of authorship, that is, the deliberate obscuring of who has authored a particular retraction notice. This communication illustrates and
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Retraction notices appear regularly in many scholarly journals, especially top-tier journals of science and engineering. One disconcerting feature of this emergent genre is evasion of authorship, that is, the deliberate obscuring of who has authored a particular retraction notice. This communication illustrates and discusses problems of evaded authorship of retraction notices. To address these problems, it proposes that scholarly journals should require explicit authorship of retraction notices and the inclusion of core generic components such as the content to be retracted, the reason(s) for the retraction, the attribution of responsibility, and the expression of mortification. Full article
Open AccessReview
Social Media Usage for Patients and Healthcare Consumers: A Literature Review
Publications 2017, 5(2), 9; doi:10.3390/publications5020009 -
Abstract
The evolution of Internet from static Web “publishing” to the highly participative, and data-driven, innovations of Web 2.0 has been influencing how people search for health-related information. This review included studies indexed in the PubMed electronic database that focused on social media analysis,
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The evolution of Internet from static Web “publishing” to the highly participative, and data-driven, innovations of Web 2.0 has been influencing how people search for health-related information. This review included studies indexed in the PubMed electronic database that focused on social media analysis, examining relationships between participants (patients and healthcare consumers) through social media usage. The obtained results showed that previous research regarding social media’s impact on patients and healthcare consumers aimed at a combination of platforms, but there is a penury of information about niche topics or its usage for retrieving medical information. Nevertheless, social media proved to be to be a promising tool in research mainly for recruitment purposes. The review has outlined that eHealth literacy is an attribute for populations that are female and relatively young and educated. Blogs share personal experiences, YouTube contains unregulated, high- and low-quality information that can mislead individuals, Facebook contains more marketing than health-related information, while Wikipedia is recommended for providing high-quality information. Despite healthcare practitioners’ and healthcare public institutions’ reluctance about the use of social media, this review demonstrates the usefulness of social media for patients and healthcare consumers in retrieving health-related information based on content availability and usage implications, and highlights gaps in knowledge that further research needs to fill. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Oceanographic Data Repositories: An Analysis of the International Situation
Publications 2017, 5(2), 8; doi:10.3390/publications5020008 -
Abstract
The preservation and organization of oceanographic research data enables the scientific community to consult and reuse information of different kinds, and this is made possible by the repositories, meaning the services that facilitate data storage and dissemination. This paper reviews the current situation
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The preservation and organization of oceanographic research data enables the scientific community to consult and reuse information of different kinds, and this is made possible by the repositories, meaning the services that facilitate data storage and dissemination. This paper reviews the current situation of oceanographic data repositories across different countries and evaluates them according to a series of indicators. The writers propose that although interest in storing and reusing oceanographic data has increased in recent years, the repositories are still in the process of developing their systems for processing, disseminating and reusing data. The repositories also differ in terms of architecture and the organizational level of the content they offer. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Transitioning from a Conventional to a ‘Mega’ Journal: A Bibliometric Case Study of the Journal Medicine
Publications 2017, 5(2), 7; doi:10.3390/publications5020007 -
Abstract
Open-Access Mega-Journals (OAMJs) are a relatively new and increasingly important publishing phenomenon. The journal Medicine is in the unique position of having transitioned in 2014 from being a ‘traditional’ highly-selective journal to the OAMJ model. This study compares the bibliometric profile of the
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Open-Access Mega-Journals (OAMJs) are a relatively new and increasingly important publishing phenomenon. The journal Medicine is in the unique position of having transitioned in 2014 from being a ‘traditional’ highly-selective journal to the OAMJ model. This study compares the bibliometric profile of the journal Medicine before and after its transition to the OAMJ model. Three standard modes of bibliometric analysis are employed, based on data from Web of Science: journal output volume, author characteristics, and citation analysis. The journal’s article output is seen to have grown hugely since its conversion to an OAMJ, a rise driven in large part by authors from China. Articles published since 2015 have fewer citations, and are cited by lower impact journals than articles published before the OAMJ transition. The adoption of the OAMJ model has completely changed the bibliometric profile of the journal, raising questions about the impact of OAMJ peer-review practices. In many respects, the post-2014 version of Medicine is best viewed as a new journal rather than a continuation of the original title. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Virtual Reference Services through Web Search Engines: Study of Academic Libraries in Pakistan
Publications 2017, 5(2), 6; doi:10.3390/publications5020006 -
Abstract
Web search engines (WSE) are powerful and popular tools in the field of information service management. This study is an attempt to examine the impact and usefulness of web search engines in providing virtual reference services (VRS) within academic libraries in Pakistan. The
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Web search engines (WSE) are powerful and popular tools in the field of information service management. This study is an attempt to examine the impact and usefulness of web search engines in providing virtual reference services (VRS) within academic libraries in Pakistan. The study also attempts to investigate the relevant expertise and skills of library professionals in providing digital reference services (DRS) efficiently using web search engines. Methodology used in this study is quantitative in nature. The data was collected from fifty public and private sector universities in Pakistan using a structured questionnaire. Microsoft Excel and SPSS were used for data analysis. The study concludes that web search engines are commonly used by librarians to help users (especially research scholars) by providing digital reference services. The study also finds a positive correlation between use of web search engines and quality of digital reference services provided to library users. It is concluded that although search engines have increased the expectations of users and are really big competitors to a library’s reference desk, they are however not an alternative to reference service. Findings reveal that search engines pose numerous challenges for librarians and the study also attempts to bring together possible remedial measures. This study is useful for library professionals to understand the importance of search engines in providing VRS. The study also provides an intellectual comparison among different search engines, their capabilities, limitations, challenges and opportunities to provide VRS effectively in libraries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Accountability and High Impact Journals in the Health Sciences
Publications 2017, 5(1), 5; doi:10.3390/publications5010005 -
Abstract
As the requirement for accountability and demonstration of the impact of public and privately funded research increases, the practice of attributing impact to research published in high impact journals is on the rise. To investigate the relevance of existing bibliometrics laws to current
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As the requirement for accountability and demonstration of the impact of public and privately funded research increases, the practice of attributing impact to research published in high impact journals is on the rise. To investigate the relevance of existing bibliometrics laws to current health research practices, 57 research areas in Web of Science (WoS) representing the major and minor disciplines were studied. In the majority of cases, Garfield’s Law of Concentration is followed with 20% of journals in each area contributing 80% of the total citations. The major multidisciplinary journals formed an anomalous grouping with low overall citation rates, although those documents cited were at a level well above the norm. In all research areas studied, team science is the prevailing norm, single author publications were rarely present in the data sets. For researchers looking to maximize the uptake and recognition of their work, publication in the top journals in the appropriate research area would be the most effective strategy, which does not in many cases include the major multidisciplinary journals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
“Second Language Writing” Publications in Web of Science: A Bibliometric Analysis
Publications 2017, 5(1), 4; doi:10.3390/publications5010004 -
Abstract
There are several indicators that distinguish an academic discipline, including journals, conferences, and graduate programs. One of them is the presence of academic publications in well-regarded citation indices such as Web of Science (WoS). This study explored the bibliometric characteristics of publications on
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There are several indicators that distinguish an academic discipline, including journals, conferences, and graduate programs. One of them is the presence of academic publications in well-regarded citation indices such as Web of Science (WoS). This study explored the bibliometric characteristics of publications on “second language writing” (SLW) covered in the Social Sciences Citation Index and the Arts & Humanities Citation Index of WoS. We found that, while the first appeared in 1992 with a steady increase in recent years, there were a total of 266 SLW publications, mostly in the linguistics research area (92%), in the WoS between 1900 and 2013. The publications included articles, book reviews, and bibliographies written by 1.64 authors per publication, suggesting a low level of collaborations among SLW scholars. They cited 31.44 publications and received citations from 5.90 publications on average. An average SLW title had 2.49 different words and a total of 10.85 words, with an abstract of about five sentences and about six keywords and diverse topics including second language writing, writing, academic writing, error correction, and plagiarism. Our findings will be of value to second language writing scholars, graduate students, and practitioners for examining the status of their field. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Publications in 2016
Publications 2017, 5(1), 3; doi:10.3390/publications5010003 -
Abstract
The editors of Publications would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2016. [...]
Full article
Open AccessArticle
Research Data Reusability: Conceptual Foundations, Barriers and Enabling Technologies
Publications 2017, 5(1), 2; doi:10.3390/publications5010002 -
Abstract
High-throughput scientific instruments are generating massive amounts of data. Today, one of the main challenges faced by researchers is to make the best use of the world’s growing wealth of data. Data (re)usability is becoming a distinct characteristic of modern scientific practice. By
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High-throughput scientific instruments are generating massive amounts of data. Today, one of the main challenges faced by researchers is to make the best use of the world’s growing wealth of data. Data (re)usability is becoming a distinct characteristic of modern scientific practice. By data (re)usability, we mean the ease of using data for legitimate scientific research by one or more communities of research (consumer communities) that is produced by other communities of research (producer communities). Data (re)usability allows the reanalysis of evidence, reproduction and verification of results, minimizing duplication of effort, and building on the work of others. It has four main dimensions: policy, legal, economic and technological. The paper addresses the technological dimension of data reusability. The conceptual foundations of data reuse as well as the barriers that hamper data reuse are presented and discussed. The data publication process is proposed as a bridge between the data author and user and the relevant technologies enabling this process are presented. Full article