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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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Thompson Reuters InCites Bibliometrics Meeting (part 2)

Posted by gazjjohnson on 25 March, 2009

[Continued from Part 1]

Jon continued mentioning that an API is available to extract the data from InCites– although it does need to be enabled by Jon or Emma as a request. Another ability of the software is the creation of create researcher ID (RID) profiles (unique). Using the WoS article matching tools it is possible to find records and create links to them. From this you can create local database of publishing output.

A comment from the UCL representative was that academics haven’t been that keen to sign up for these IDs and noted that there are other unique identifiers such as HEFCE. Jon countered that with these IDs it is much easier to ID researchers and works. A short debate followed discussing the practicality of academics keeping these unique IDs between institutions. It was felt that for simplicities sake most institutions would issue new unique IDs to new staff, which rather made the usefulness of this aspect of the service somewhat diminished.

For repositories that use the UT tag on various records, it is possible for InCites to make use of local data (if your research IDs and data are clean/clear enough).

Can evaluate citations counts from institutional repository contents possible to purchase other institutions data, but can’t expose the information. There was a discussion noting that what the REF wants is driving this as a central process, but unclear what HEFCE wants – hence everyone is adopting a wait and see until the June results of the REF pilot are presented. It was noted that whilst the word bibliometrics is much muttered, but in terms how, what and why remains very unclear within most institutions.

The question of citations from patents was raised (e.g. Derwents Citations Index) – would these be of value? The answer wasn’t currently clear. The question of staffing challenges was raised, which whilst the Thompson tools would help wouldn’t alleviate all the challenges.

UCL spoke about their experience as a pilot for the REF – the experience has been a valuable one and a bit of a shock too. Went beyond where just REF wants them to go, and where the data would be of see and found that the systems they had weren’t good enough and neither was the data. More pressingly there was a need for a cultural overhaul in how researchers record their research output and usage. As a result they have a separate a project to address this.
The HEFCE rep present commented that academics still keep sourcing their own research data from different sources for different purposes, and that this was not necessarily a good thing.

[Continued in part 3]

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Thompson Reuters InCites Bibliometrics Meeting (part 1)

Posted by gazjjohnson on 24 March, 2009

On Monday I travelled down to London to a meeting organised by Thompson Reuters (TR), providers of the ISI Web of Knowlegde and Journal Citation Reports to name but a few key resources. Principally the day was to introduce and give an overview of their new InCites bibliometrics product (to be launched in May 2009), but thanks to the mix of people there from universities (myself, Kingston, UCL) and funders (Wellcome, HEFCE) some very interesting discussions around the subjects demonstrated were presented. All of this naturally is related to the REF.  As this is a long report on a very full discussion, I’m going to break it up into multiple posts.

The day and background to the product was introduced by a senior manager, who talked about the breadth of coverage of TR’s products, noting the importance of everyone having access to the same quality data for evaluation. He mentioned that the acquisition of Evidence (based in the UK) has allowed the provision of services and tools along with access of the data themselves, even the generation of customised reports. Finally he talked about TR’s development of grant application systems as one of their next major launches.

Jon Stroll (Key Account Manager) presented on aspects of research analysis including using data integration within institutional work flows such repositories. Focussing first on the Web of Science (WoS) and mentioning that the conference database is now also a citations database. However, Jon was unsure if the REF will take account of this data. In terms of quality TR use manual and machine harvesting of each article’s data. InCites is essentially a benchmarking citation analysis tool. He noted that currently the HEFCE Pilot,the US National Science Foundation and EU are all using the data from Thompson Reuters

Key questions that InCites can help answer include:

  • Over all published output in 10/20 years
  • Impact and how frequently has it been cited
  • Which papers are the most influential and how do they compare to the benchmarks?
  • Who are the top (H Indexed) authors and therefore where should research funding be focussed
  • What research do our researchers pull on – are they citing the right material

The extended license allows for use of ISI bibliographic data within IRs (populate the meta data using ISI WoS data). The current policy is now that you can use the data and expose externally with no additional charge. The only mandatory requirement is that you have a WoS subscription. A comment from Susan Miles that the repository community are currently unaware of this and would really benefit from knowing.

[To be continued in Part 2]

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