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Bibliometrics

1.         Introduction

Publication has been described as the only “portable wealth” that researchers have and, like all wealth, publication must be managed efficiently if it is to grow in value. There are a few simple steps to achieving the best outcome for you as an individual researcher, for your department, your research centre and your University.

Your research profile, as characterised by bibliometric tools such as Scopus and Web of Science, is now being used by employers, funding agencies, and potential collaborators at higher education institutions throughout the world to assess the quality of your work.

2.         Who are you?

Perhaps the most basic step of all is to ensure that you identify yourself reliably in your publications. Using multiple variations of your name can result in multiple publication profiles and thereby dilute the academic impact your research has.

For example, in the most popular bibliometric packages, Joe Bloggs, J. Bloggs and J. E. Bloggs can easily be identified as a number of separate individuals, rather than as one single individual making a consistent contribution to a particular field. It is not uncommon for researchers to have two or three profiles and some have half a dozen or more. Decide on the name you will use and then include it consistently in all of your publications.

3.         Where do you work?

Always identify your institution clearly as the place where you conduct your research. State your affiliation as “University of Huddersfield” and do not vary this format. You can add your research centre or department but these should always appear after your institutional affiliation. As in the example above J. E. Bloggs who publishes from his base at the Centre for Excellent Research, Huddersfield can easily be mistaken for a different J. E. Bloggs who conducts research at the University of Huddersfield.

4.         Be known

Always submit your research papers to the best journals in your field; check the impact factor of journals before you even begin writing. Choose your co-authors carefully from amongst those researchers with the best reputations. Promote your publications effectively to colleagues around the world, to the global media (broadcast, print and online), and by including them in both the institutional repository (eprints.hud.ac.uk) and in larger collections available online.

In your papers always make your contribution to knowledge clear. Serve on the editorial boards of the best journals in your field. Be a referee and develop a reputation for reliability and thoroughness. If asked to referee a paper then produce your comments with alacrity and be measured and professional in your tone.

5.         Your h Index

It has become commonplace to summarise the impact of a researcher’s published work in term of the h index. This measure was devised by a physicist called Jorge Hirsch and is based on a researcher’s set of most cited publications and the number of times they have been cited in the work of others.  Know your h index. Please note, however, that h index scores vary considerably by discipline, depending on the relative importance of journal and conference papers and the average length of research careers, among other factors.

6.         Use the tools

Bibliometric packages are indispensable. They are also expensive and should be used to good effect to promote your research and your reputation. Below you will find some simple ways of addressing the issues raised above.

6.1       Scopus

Scopus is the largest abstract and citation database.  Because it is the basis of a number of key strategic planning tools it is becoming more important to governments, universities and researchers throughout the world.

Open your browser and go to the Summon home page at http://library.hud.ac.uk/summon/

Or the e-resources page at http://library.hud.ac.uk/wiki/Scopus

 In the A-Z listing of electronic resources provided through Computing & Library Services you will see Scopus listed under S.

The access link will take you to the usual Athens login page or to a page that will allow you to click a link that will recognise your existing login on a networked computer.

 If you have any problems with access consult your academic librarian in the first instance or the Library E-resources Team (e.mailbox@hud.ac.uk).

On the Scopus home page use “author search” to find out more about your research profile. The search box illustrated allows you to search just a particular surname and initials or to limit the search further by including the institution. If a person’s institutional affiliation is wrong using this option it will fail to identify the individual you are seeking.

 6.2       Journal Citation Reports

This product is available through the A-Z List of Electronic Resources on the Summon home page as illustrated in 6.1 above. If you are using a networked computer or Mobile Desktop you should be logged in automatically when you click the link.

There is also an e-resources page at http://library.hud.ac.uk/wiki/Journal_Citation_Reports.

7.         Conclusion

As you become an experienced user you will come to appreciate that these tools can be employed to provide much more sophisticated support to your publishing plans and chosen career path, but I hope this brief guide has given you confidence to embark on the active and effective management of your bibliometric research profile.

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