Welcome to this breakout session on academic reputation My name is melinda kenneway, and I&apos;m the director of TBI Communications A strategic marketing consulting company But more recently I’m also the director and co-founder of Kudos A new web-based platform for authors through which they can increase usage and citations to their publications I&apos;ll come back to Kudos a little later in this presentation Because its very much a response to the some of the topics I’m going to cover today
I wanted to start this presentation with a story. A little bit of a journey through my career in academic publishing Which I hope will explain why I’ve chosen to talk today on the topic of reputation I’ll also run through some of the various emerging initiatives relating to the measurement of reputation Then reflect on what I think this is going to mean in terms of strategic imperatives for the future
My story starts back in the early 90s, when I got my first job in publishing at Oxford University Press. When I googled images of OUP for this presentation there are lots of shots taken looking skywards like this, and certainly I remember feeling on the one hand rather small and intimidated, but also a glorious sense of history and tradition. Reputation of the publisher and publication – particularly for journals – has dominated for such a long time in the minds of authors. Being published in a top journal brand or with a prestigious press has been the foundation of building a successful career in academia. And this meant for a very long time that publishers didn’t really have to pay a huge amount of attention to authors It’s not that authors weren’t important back then, it’s just that they weren’t a focus – particularly for Journals Because every day a miracle occurred.
Almost without any prompting whatsoever, academics would send in their articles to our journals – unpaid – and we would publish some of them, and then libraries paid to buy this content.
Back in the 1990s we were just starting to learn about libraries too. I knew they were out there somewhere, I’d even been to one very occasionally as a student, but I’d certainly never visited one as a publisher. I remember going to a presentation not long after I’d started work at OUP, talking about how it was becoming critical for publishers to have direct relationships with libraries. We hadn’t really gotten involved in the money part before Because this was all handled by agents. And because the money kept coming in, it didn’t feel like there was a pressing need to get involved. But gradually, this lack of direct contact started to be a problem. By the late 90s we’d started selling online content, and that changed everything. So the last decade has been consumed with publishers forging relationships more directly with libraries, and as a result we’ve learned a lot more about them. If you looked into a publishing house a few years ago you’d see teams of people dedicated to library selling and relationships, but still relatively little focused on author relations. You’ve only got to look at the history of identifier development to see where our priorities lay – the demand for institutional identifiers (with Ringgold for example) came long before that for authors (ORCID).
My wake up call came about 10 years ago. I was planning a marketing campaign for converting OUP’s largest and most profitable subscription journal – Nucleic Acids Research – to full, Gold Open Access. Suddenly I had to ask our authors, who’d been loyally sending in their articles year after year, for money to publish with us – knowing there were plenty of other places they could go and still get published for free. I remember doing an internal presentation on the “need to compete for authors” and what that was going to mean – that we had to rethink our services, our communications, we’d need an understanding of the kinds of author we wanted to attract and how to identify them. This was a whole new world. We didn’t have the information we needed on authors: who they were, why they published with us, what they really valued in the publishing process … we had a lot to learn. It was around that time that I decided to leave OUP It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make. But I had a niggling feeling that not being attached to a publisher was going to becoming increasingly important if I wanted to be truly free to explore new ideas and opportunities. The roles were blurring, I didn’t want to have to feel allegiance to any one way of doing things.
So, I founded a consulting company called TBI and started working with a whole range of stakeholders in the industry – One of my first projects was working with a group of authors wanting to start their own OA press, which later become the Frontiers series, acquired recently by Nature; I’ve also worked with libraries looking to enhance their users’ experience, and more recently – start their own publishing operations; And I’ve worked with a whole variety of publishers too of course – including new start-ups, and Open accesses presses, coming into our market with new ideas and approaches. Working with open-access from birth publishers has been particularly interesting, because their entire focus is on attracting authors, often without the benefit of much of a publication or publisher brand to build on either.
The end result tends to be organizations that are focused on the author. Take this example of the difference between how elife presents itself to potential authors compared to Nature. Of course, everyone wants to be published in Nature, and it’s likely to take a while yet to topple impact factor as a measure of quality for an author’s work … but one thing is for sure is that that day will come. And those that have worked hard to gain author’s loyalty and attention now will likely reap the greater rewards in a future where potentially the reputation of publisher and publication becomes less important, and the reputation of the author more so.
Coming back to reputation … let’s for a moment consider what this actually means.
This definition I think expresses how most of us might think about reputation. The key thing to note is that here’s it’s expressed as perceptual. There may be some metrics behind this, but it’s also an overall feeling that we might have. I remember a foundation report that ALPSP produced on “what authors want”, probably 10-15 years or so ago now, that found that impact factor wasn’t the top rated feature of a publication for author preference. The top rated feature was actually “perceived reputation”, which is clearly somewhat broader and less easy to define. When considering authors too, it’s likely that the way in which they are perceived by their employers and peers is also driven by a combination of metrics – for example, related to the journals they publish in, the funding they receive, but also their general visibility – their presentations at conferences, their peer network and so on. We’re moving now towards much more quantitative measures of individual article impact and also researcher influence and institutional performance. All of which are closely interrelated of course, but developing on somewhat separate tracks at the moment. But there will be a convergence soon, and that convergence may drive some substantial changes in the not too distant future
Let’s take a moment to examine these 3 tracks and the emerging systems of measurement in each area.
Starting with publication performance
Article-Level Metrics (ALMs) are a new approach to quantifying the reach and impact of published research. Historically, impact has been measured at the journal level. A journal’s average number of citations to recent articles (i.e., its impact factor) has for years served as a proxy for that publication’s importance. Articles published in highly-cited journals were viewed as impactful by association Now it’s much easier to assess an individual article’s impact from the publication it appeared in It’s also possible to track different markers of an article’s reach, beyond just citations. Tracking how a paper is used – and who is using it - is now becoming possible. Article-Level Metrics open the door to measures of both the immediacy and the socialization of an article. These are critical components of impact that have not previously been captured.
I referred earlier to our ability to track many more measures beyond citations to help assess impact Altmetrics are the response to this opportunity Sometimes talked about as an alternative to established metrics such as citations But most of the people I know in the altmetric community talk about them as complementary, not competing Presenting a broader picture of how information is being shared, discussed and so on… There’s no doubt in my mind that these kind of metrics are going to become a vital part of impact assessment in the future Particularly if we’re able to start relating almetric scores to more traditional measures of influence For example, if we see patterns of high social media activity leading to subsequent high citations or downloads Current evidence around this is all a little embryonic, but some correlations are already being found
The main altmetric providers are PLOS, Impact Story, Plum Analytics and Altmetric Here’s the altmeric donut, which gives an aggregated score for an article or other piece of digital content Based on social media activity The donut has mixed feedback Some people like the simplicity of a single score Others feel that an aggregated count of social media activity is pretty meaningless
Impact Story present similar data but dont’ create a score from this And as you can see here from the supported ID types Altmetrics aren’t just constrained to articles You can get analysis also on web pages, videos and datasets This really begins to make a reality a future where the traditional journal article Is no longer the primary unit of scholarly communication Altmetrics still have a long way to go In the recent Ciber report on Trust and Authority in the light of the digital transition They found that altmetrics were still not being taken seriously by the research community Bit they’re early in their evolution … and as informal digital communication channels become more accepted and widely used Metrics reflecting this activity will of course also grow in importance
So thinking more about these new units of publishing There’s clearly a lot more material that can now be published That previously wouldn’t have been possible in a print world
Data is particularly key And dryad now tracks downloads of datasets Which can be used by an author to demonstrate the value of their work
And through figshare authors can set up DOIs for a whole range of materials And then track shares and views So the era of analysis of a whole range of research outputs is already upon us And we may discover that the article is not optimised for impact It’s exciting to think that metrics might help us determine What types of research output are actually most effective And that this might bring fundamental change to how we communicate research ideas and discoveries
Another interesting development is the idea of independent peer review for a publication
Rubriq is one example of this Which is a service that authors pay for, something in the region of 500-700 dollars To have their article reviewed and graded against a number of criteria A score is generated, called the R score Which is then portable across publishers The system was designed to reduce wastage (duplciation) and speed up the process
Peerage of Science similarly is a pre publication peer review service In this system the finally scored article is then made available to publishers To essentially express their interest in publishing it And the author can then choose from those that say yes
There are clearly benefits for institutions To be able to have a view on these metrics
34,000 signed plos….
H index = measures productivity and impact. scholar with an index of h has published h papers each of which has been cited in other papers at least h times. Thus, the h-index reflects both the number of publications and the number of citations per publication. i10 index = number of publications with at least 10 citations, introduced by google in July 2011
Potential to become a lot more sophisticated Afterall, when we think about the more subjective elements of reputatiom This includes things like influence and visibility, which are harder to put a metric against Klout is an example of a system that attempts to do this through algorithms, and present an ‘influence score’ In this case, what is being assessed is influence within the social media sphere So the question is how relevant this is to academia,, when several studies have shown academics are slow to adopt social media Perhaps what is needed is more specialist services for the scholarly communications industry And certainly many have been attempting to establish this, with various levels of success
Here’s one that’s performed better than some Helped recently by an injection of funding amounting to $35 million last year, with Bill Gates included in the backers ResearchGate is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators Say they have 2 million members Blogger Beatrice Lugger reported in 2012 that her &quot;RG score&quot; reached the top 5% of ResearchGate users although her contributions were restricted to occasional questions. some using it relatively much (e.g., Brazil, India) and others using it relatively little (e.g., China, South Korea, Russia).
PeerIndex measures influence by measuring Activity, Audience and Authority. Authority measures how relevant your activity is to the community. The Authority measure is boosted whenever others like, comment and/or engage with your activity.
I’m not really a big fan of these single scoring systems I don’t think they tell us very much A single aggregated score at the article level isn’t much more use than an impact factor at a publication level
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2013-2014 powered by Thomson Reuters are the only global university performance tables to judge world class universities across all of their core missions – teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. The top universities rankings employ 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators to provide the most comprehensive and balanced comparisons available, which are trusted by students, academics, university leaders, industry and governments.
Earlier we talked about reputation being subjective … 8 are the same … Yale does better; as does UCLA; but Imperial and Chicago do worse
Institutional performance assessment is highly complex, with many factors to consider How one institution judges success may differ substantially to another As with researchers, single score metrics are very limiting What offers more potential for meaningful assessment is a combination of metrics That can then be cut a number of different ways to give insight into an institution’s performance There are many projects underway looking at evaluating institutional performance And here’s an example of, which Elsevier is working in with a range of UK based instiutions Project started to meet the following objectives: - A defined and agreed national framework for data and metric standards is needed - Suppliers should participate in the development of these standards - Institutions and funders should collaborate to build best practices. They should also develop stronger relationships with suppliers
Here’s an example of another model developed by the Becker Medical Library in Missorri, called the Becker Medical Library Model for Assessment of Research Impact Which helps demonstrates the potential complexity of institutional performance assessment There are 15 or so pages in this model, each as detailed as this… Clearly we’re at the start of a process here But one thing is for sure Standards, systems and processes will emerge over the next few years that will make this kind of analysis a regular part of every institution and researchers life
And direction will likely come of course from those with the money that drive higher education Funders and government We’ve already touched on criteria laid down by the UK government as part of the research excellence framework And of course independent funding agencies are key too And they are also getting increasingly interested in performance indicators Here’s the Wellcome Trusts’ high level indicators Which include not only measures of academic impact, but societal understanding and impact too Most of the researchers I know tell me that the competition for funding is getting more and more intense So demonstrating your effectiveness against these metrics will become increasingly critical
Intermermediaries are of course already entering this space to help with institutional-level performance assessment. There are a range of dashboard providers And those gaining most traction tend to be collaborative systems that aren’t based on one single funder or institution’s needs ResearchFish is one example, which can be used by institutions to collate inforamtion on publications, partnerships, funfing and intellectual property rights It enables researchers to report once across multiple funders, and re-use their data.
At the moment, the three tracks of publication performance, researcher performance and institutional performance are developing on separate, if somewhat overlapping tracks But they are already starting to come together As all interested parties begin to settle on what really matters, that’s when we’re really going to start seeing changes At the end of the day, government and funders hold the purse strings So what they want to see will inevitably and increasingly drive what authors do in terms of publication choices Publishers will need to consider what happens after publication as much as what happens before – helping ensure that researchers publishing with them are best placed to perform well against a broadening set of metrics Institutions will become ever more important managers of performance, working with and directing their research communities on performance improvement
For those of you familiar with the Hitch Hikers guide to the galaxy You’ll recall that the meaning of life, the universe and everything was 42 Well, things aren’t so simple in our industry There will be no single number answer to us understanding what reputation means
But of this I’m certain There is too much money at stake to imagine that we’re going to escape measurement And of course, once things start being measured, this becomes a driver for changing behaviours How, where and what people publish will certainly fall into that Publishers will need to compete for the authors whose work is most likely to tick the impact boxes against which publications will be assessed How institutions support their research communities in maximizing their performance against key metrics will become critical Researchers will be judged not only on how much they publish, but also on how effective they are in following through in ensuring their work has measureable impact after publication Publishing output will become ever more granular – with systems available to aggregate and slice and dice a range of research outputs to assess their value individually and combined Outreach within and between networks of specialist interest will become a critical skills for conducting effective research The phrase ‘social media’ will have disappeared into history as academics grasp these new communications tools As they become just as essential as the postal system and email has been in the past
Our mission is to speed up and improve science by bringing peer review to the forefront of research. Publons gives reviewers credit for their work with: Open, quantifiable post-publication peer review Validated pre-publication peer review Citable reviews with DOIs Discussion and endorsement of reviews Public reviewer profiles
Post publication peformance beyond measures of usage will become more impprtant
Qs 5 group c melinda kenneway
Towards an author economy
Director Director and co-founder
TBI Communications Kudos
1. Once upon a time …
2. What is reputation?
3. How is it measured?
- publications and other digital assets
4. What this means
5. 3 predictions
UK Research Excellence Framework
“originality, significance and rigor”
Impact sub-profile 20%:
“unit’s reach and significance”
Environment sub-profile 15%:
“research environment vitality and sustainability”
Research assessmentSector UK US Germany China Japan
STAR Metrics ESF
– 20% now
citation analysis –
(focused on peer