Monday, July 28, 2014

More Journal Ranking

Here are some more journal rankings to add to your list:

  • Impact per Publication (IPP)
  • SCImago Journal Rank (SRJ)
  • Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Journal Ranking

If you would like to view some of the popular and publicly available journal 'ranking' lists head on over to the forum to check out:

  • ERA Journal Ranking
  • Harzing - journal quality list
  • ABDC - journal quality list
Make a comment on these lists or perhaps add some of the ones that you know of or use.

Why was it better to be a researcher in Design Practice and Management than Forestry for ERA 2010?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

DECRA not considered a highly regarded form of accolade by the ARC's ERA 2015

The third round of the ARC's Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA 2015) is underway; and, unfortunately, if you have a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) it is not being considered an 'esteem' measure. However, you will be considered 'esteemed' if you hold a NHMRC Early Career Fellowship.

The ERA includes a number of measures of 'esteem' and they are defined as measures that:
constitute recognition of the quality ... and indicate that a researcher is held in particularly high regard by peers in their field of research and/or by other well qualified parties. ...embody a measure of prestige and are recognised by experts within the discipline as a highly desired, highly regarded form of accolade or acknowledgement.
The ERA requests institutions submit data on only five esteem measures (listed below) of which one is 'nationally competitive research fellowships'. Unfortunately it looks like the DECRAs did not make it onto the list this time so are not considered a measure of esteem by the ERA.

The esteem measures eligible for ERA 2015 are the following:
  • editor of a prestigious work of reference;
  • fellowship of a learned academy and membership of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS);
  • recipient of a nationally competitive research fellowship; 
  • membership of a statutory committee; and 
  • recipient of an Australia Council grant or Australia Council fellowship.
And, only nationally competitive research fellowships in the following programs are eligible (where are the DECRAs?):
  • ARC Discovery—Australian Laureate Fellowships; 
  • ARC Discovery—Federation Fellowships; 
  • ARC Discovery—Future Fellowships; 
  • ARC Discovery—Indigenous Researchers’ Development; 
  • ARC Discovery—Projects (including Australian Professorial Fellowships, Queen Elizabeth II Fellowships, and Australian Postdoctoral Fellowships); 
  • ARC Linkage—International; 
  • ARC Linkage—Projects (including Australian Postdoctoral (Industry) Fellowships); 
  • NHMRC Practitioner Fellowships (Formerly Practitioner Fellowships Scheme); 
  • NHMRC Research Fellowships; 
  • NHMRC Australia Fellowship (Formerly Australia Fellowship Scheme);
  • NHMRC Career Development Fellowships (Formerly Career Development Awards); 
  • NHMRC Early Career Fellowships (Formerly Postdoctoral Training Fellowships); 
  • NHMRC Sir MacFarlane Burnett Fellowship;
  • NHMRC John Cade Fellowship in Mental Health Research; and 
  • NHMRC Translating Research Into Practice (TRIP) Fellowships.
To check out the ERA 2015 and related documents yourself you can visit:

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Nobel winner declares boycott of top science journals

Nobel prize winner Randy Schekman says his lab will no longer send papers to Nature, Cell and Science as they distort scientific process.

After careful consideration, I too will join Schekman's revolution and will be boycotting Nature, Science and Cell by not publish anything with them --- after I win a Nobel prize.

There is enormous pressure on academics to produce 'excellent' research and as Schekman points out 'the incentives offered by top journals distort science'. We have also seen increased instances of plagiarism and publication of falsified results from all over the world. Schekman is advocating a move away from the 'luxury' journals, like Nature and Science, towards online and open access journals.

This would pose an interesting question about how to advise early career researchers (ECR) on where and how to publish. There is still a strong incentive through grant reviews, performance reviews, promotions, and university rankings to publish in high impact factor journals like Nature, Science and Cell. If an ECR chooses to boycott these types of journal will they jeopardize their career?

Sheckman has obviously done very well in his career - and he has the traditional performance metrics to back that up. According to Scopus, Schekman has over 280 papers with over 18,000 cites (the stats in the Web of Science are even more impressive with over 25,000 cites!) – over 40 of these are published in Nature, Science or Cell and these ones account for about 40% of the citations. Schekman’s Nature, Science and Cell papers are cited on average about 4 times per paper higher than for the rest of his output - impressive stats that would help win grants and get promoted.

I think Schekman's idea is great and I think open access journals are a good idea and it is really great that a Nobel prize winner is joining the revolution. Schekman is boycotting these journals as a researcher who has reached the top of his field. What advice would he have for early career researchers on where to publish when they are at the start of their career?

Excellence in Research for Australia - ERA 2015

The Australian Research Council (ARC) this week released the submission documents for the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 2015. The 2015 guidelines are very similar to the 2012 guidelines with only a few significant changes. 

The first change is that there is now a requirement to submit more data not directly related to the evaluation. For example institutions are now required to submit data on staff gender; which publications are available in open access; and, information on the time and cost associated with submitting the ERA data for the institution. The problem with requesting these sorts of data is that each new requirement costs an institution time and money to collect and report. This means an increased cost to the whole sector for information that is not actually going to be used for the evaluation process - it is just for information.

A second change is that institutions are now able to write to the ARC regarding staff on less than 0.4 FTE contracts and argue a case for their inclusion (and the inclusion of their publications). This is a good move as it reduces the negative impact on fractional staff - a cohort that includes more female academics than male - thus shifting towards a more equitable process (although still not ideal). I wrote about why I thought there was a gender equity issue here:

Institutions will be required to submit their ERA 2015 data in early 2015.