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Posts Tagged ‘academic’

Contrasting Search Engine Returns and Indexing of the LRA

Posted by gazjjohnson on 6 July, 2012

Repository metrics are upper most in my mind at the moment, as I’ve co-authored a paper for Open Repositories 2012 on the subject.  But they’re also in my mind due to some work I’ve been doing with the LRA lately.

A bit of background first.  A couple of months ago we upgraded the LRA and shifted the server and underlying platform it runs on.  There have been a few issues, nothing devastating mind you, that myself and my wonderful techs have been working to resolve.  One issue that’s niggled at me as manager of the service is that the hits we seem to be getting recorded via Google Analytics were ~75% down on where they were before the change.

While we did discover we were missing a bit of code on some the pages which helped restore some of the recorded traffic, we’re still >40% down on where we have been for the past few years.  While I’m still trying to answer the question “Were the readings before abnormally high or are the readings now abnormally low” I’ve been digging around to try and ID where the issue might lie.  Certainly traffic from search engines is the most significantly reduced element.

So today I’ve run an analysis using the most popular items on LRA in recent months and run them through 4 search engines that regularly do point readers to the repository.  The publications were as follows:

  • Financial Development, Economic Growth and Stock Market Volatility: Evidence from Nigeria and South Africa Ndako, Umar Bida
  • The propagation of VHF and UHF radio waves over sea paths Sim, Chow Yen Desmond
  • Social inclusion, the museum and the dynamics of sectoral change Sandell, Richard
  • Writing up and presenting qualitative research in family planning and reproductive health care Pitchforth, Emma et al
  • Facebook, social integration and informal learning at university: ‘It is more for socialising and talking to friends about work than for actually doing work’ Madge, Clare et al
  • Pragmatic randomized trial of antenatal intervention to prevent post-natal depression by reducing psychosocial risk factors Brugha, Traolach S. et al
  • The challenges of insider research in educational institutions: wielding a double-edged sword and resolving delicate dilemmas Mercer, Justine
  • An efficient and effective system for interactive student feedback using Google+ to enhance an institutional virtual learning environment Cann, Alan James
  • The Development of Nurture Groups in Secondary Schools Colley, David Rodway
    Mobile technologies and learning Naismith, Laura et al
  • An evaluation of forensic DNA profiling techniques currently used in the United Kingdom. Graham, Eleanor Alison May
  • Twitter and Public Reasoning Around Social Contention: The Case of #15ott in Italy Vicari, Stefania

There is a good mix of items in the above selection, including some items that aren’t available any where else.  I performed three basic searches

  • The full article title
  • The first four significant (non-stop) words of the title and first author’s surname
  • Author’s name alone

The results were as below.

Google Scholar aggregates together hits with the same title as one return, normally pointing to the published version.  This means that where this happens unless you open up the other hits, you don’t spot the LRA.  So for example Eleanor Graham’s paper is listed as 1*2 – that is the first hit was this paper, but the LRA link was the second in the sublist.

What have I inferred from this?  Well it seems for the most part these search engines are indexing the LRA still.  Given these are popular papers, I’d expect to see them returned as very highly relevant results.  Some particular observations with respect to searching for Open Access publications on the LRA:

  • Google: Appears very good for tracking down OA papers with full title and partial title and author.  Terrible though for searching for an author’s paper by name alone.
  • Google Scholar: Okay for searching OA papers with title or title and author name, but not as good as vanilla Google.  Also very good at obfuscating the availability of an OA version of a paper beneath a publisher link.  Surprisingly though better than Google at retrieving an author’s papers with just their name (but given the more focussed collections that Google aims to search, this is perhaps to be expected).
  • Brilliant with title and title plus author name at finding OA papers.  The best of the four I used in tracking down items by author name alone too.  Without a doubt the best of the bunch (in this rough and ready test)
  • Bing: intermittently good at times and poor in others in retrieving papers.  Worse than both vanilla Google and Scholar, and much worse than Scirus.  However, had some successes in identifying papers with a high relevance ranking by author name alone at times when the other three search engines could resolve them.

In conclusion if you’re looking for open access publications I would use first and foremost, but avoid Bing unless you’re hitting a total dead end (or just have an author name) and use the Google Family of search engines with care.  As for the LRA, looks like we are indexed by most of these (although I’ve questions about Bing’s totality of coverage).

Posted in Leicester Research Archive, Open Access, Research Support | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Understanding Open Access and Bibliometrics – RSO/Library event

Posted by gazjjohnson on 11 February, 2010

As I mentioned previously the Research Support Office and the Library are running an event for academics and postgraduates here at Leicester on these hot topics.  Here’s a more detailed run down of the event programme.

Thursday 25th February 2010 2.00p.m. to 4.00p.m.
Lecture Theatre A, Physics Building

Overview of OA and OA at Leicester: Gareth J Johnson, Library
This session examines current developments in scholarly publication and open access, focussing on its impact on the Leicester academic community.

Research Funders’ OA mandates: Juliet Bailey, RSO
This session examines the policies of the major research funders on open access and outlines the implications for all researchers.

Q&A Session

An Introduction to Bibliometrics: Nancy Bayers, Library
This session introduces the concept of bibliometrics and its applications in evaluating research and planning for the Research Excellence Framework.

Bibliometrics in the REF: Juliet Bailey, RSO
This session examines how HEFCE proposes to use bibliometrics in the Research Excellence Framework and the changes proposed to scoring of outputs.

Q&A Session & Discussion

All sessions are open to all staff and research students but they are particularly suitable for academic staff and researchers. No registration is required.

Posted in Leicester Research Archive, Open Access, Research Support | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Tweeting in a pedagogical kinda of way

Posted by gazjjohnson on 12 June, 2009

I see that Leicester’s Beyond Distance Research Alliance (BDRA) is thinking about exploring twitter for pedagogical and learning activities.  Excellent, this is really good news.  Let’s hope that those of us twitter veterans here already can support them and help welcome them into the community.  As we’ve explored and discussed on this blog (and elsewhere) more than a few times, twitter has been a great tool for us.

Posted in Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Academics and publishing in open access journals

Posted by gazjjohnson on 8 January, 2009

There’s an interesting blog post from Gerry McKiernan entitled Academic Rank of Authors Publishing in Open Access Journals, where he highlights a recent Elaine Nowick article which states:

Previous research has indicated that some faculty members may have some concerns about publishing in Open Access journals because of a perceived lack of rigor and reputation of Open Access titles…There was no indication that pre-tenured faculty avoided Open Access titles. In fact, there was a slight but significant trend for pre-tenured faculty to publish in Open Access journals.

This study has been published in, of all places, Agriculture Information Worldwide(ref in Gerry’s post).  This is a refreshing result to read, even taking into account that the study would only have looked at (I assume, I can’t access the paper itself as it’s not yet available anywhere it seems) US based academics within a smattering of disciplines.  However, going on my past experience of encouraging academics to think of publishing in OAJ this is one more piece of evidence that supports that trend.

Does anyone know of any comparator studies performed on UK academics and their attitudes then?

Posted in Open Access | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »