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Thompson Reuters InCites Bibliometrics Meeting (part 3)

Posted by gazjjohnson on 25 March, 2009

[Continued from parts 1 and 2]

Emma Swann (Target Account Manager) started to talk more about InCites. Previously TR was able to produce these kinds of reports as on-demand CD outputs. InCites is the Web based version of this, in basic and premium versions.

Basics offers citation reports and indicators (benchmarking contrasts with other institutions). Premium is a more customised service, that is set up working with an institution. She demonstrated the information that the system would pull out, which was rather impressive – stuff that would take me several days to generate could be produced more readily. I was glad to have worked at the coal face generating this data, as it enabled me to readily see the importance of the information proceed. That said there were some metrics I’d produced [link] that weren’t evidenced produced. Possibly InCites could still produce them, but I’d need some time hands on before I could say that. All the same the time the system would save in generation of this information would allow the manual discovery of this information if push came to shove.

Emma showed how it was possible to generate custom benchmark reports for a range of institutions at an author, discipline or institutional level. It was even possible to rank all of an institution’s researchers easily.

Basic InCites package includes:

  • 1 standard citation report with all current metrics back to 1981
  • One standard indicators report
  • Quarterly data updates
  • Internal distribution only

Premium package includes all this plus:

  • Allows posting of data on external website
  • Can use researcher ID (RID)
  • PubMed ID match
  • Match retrievable service with WoS

In terms of cost (depending on institutional JISC band A-E):

  • Basic
    • U$D10-25k
  • Premium
    • U$D16-40k
  • API Citations
    • U$D6-15k

Wellcome talked about their funders point of view, and how identification of authors was only the start. What they wanted was a system that would interact with their own databases allowing them to call up extensive data on researchers they fund – in essence answering the questions “Is this person worth what we are funding” along with “Are there areas of funded research excellence that we are not funding but should”.

Comments from the HEFCE representative continued the discussions about on unique RIDs and carry forward between institutions. UCL commented that with 1,100 address variants it was a real problem IDing researchers. Some researchers identify with a unit or division and not an institution more readily and thus ensuring all are covered can be a problem.

The HEFCE rep suggested that bibliometrics probably won’t be used for Arts/Humanities and many social sciences reviews, noting that the finer detail of bibliometrics has a long way to go in being resolved. For example some subject areas publish in low level journals, because the whole field is publishing in these journals – it’s all relative.
HEFCE also commented that the 2010 bibliometrics exercise may be developmental rather than a full review, but this while this is not a certainty, the time taken for the pilot was far in excess of what they expected. They have a commitment to run something, but it might not be what everyone initially expected. It should be possible for institutions to see where they stand with the first real funding related REF taking place in 2013. Autumn consultation workshops will be run in 2009 to inform REF, and then later workshops to inform submission guidelines. A comment was made that provided your publications management system is robust and embedded in custom and practice then you may have less to worry about w.r.t. REF.

On the subject of competing products that do a similar job to InCites, the representative from UCL suggested that there were other resources they were looking at, but declined to name them.

Finally HEFCE talked about the CERIF metadata schema, which may well be a REF requirement. It has a high use on the continent, but much lower in the UK. Scandinavian countries have been using it a lot for example. EuroCRIS and JISC are involved and advocates of it. Noted that a number of Scottish Universities are piloting it.

As you’ve seen in this and the previous parts of this post, this was an especially information rich day with a lot useful, and sometimes surprising, information coming out. What does this mean for the REF and bibliometrics at Leicester? I think it’s too soon to say, but it certainly means I’ll be having a lot more conversations about them in the near future I suspect!

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