More than 4000 research papers are published daily. Activities aimed at promoting research are increasingly important in researcher’s work. By making your research visible and accessible you increase chances of your research being noticed, used and having impact, thus increasing your own reputation and chances of success in your academic work.
Helsinki University Library’s new guide for researchers, Research Visibility & Altmetrics, offers tips and information on how to use different tools to improve the visibility of research. The guide answers following questions:
How to improve your academic visibility?
Which tools are recommendable and how to use them?
How researchers at the University of Helsinki have used these tools?
What are altmetrics and how to make use of social media metrics?
What are pros and cons of social networks for researchers (i.a. Academia.edu, ResearchGate)?
The guide presents many tools and it gives a closer look on Kudos, PlumX and Altmetric Explorer. These services are Helsinki University Library subscriptions and thus supported by the library.
Research Visibility & Altmetrics guide has been carried out by HULib information specialists and liaison librarians from various disciplines, Jukka Englund, Terhi Sandgren, Markku Roinila and Mika Holopainen.
Time: friday, 8.12.2017, 10.30-15.45 Venue: Minerva-tori, University of Helsinki / Siltavuorenpenger 5A, Helsinki
The Bibliometrics Seminar is organised by the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Council for Finnish University Libraries, the University of Helsinki Library and CSC – IT Center for Science Ltd. The theme of the seminar is research evaluation and bibliometric tools. The seminar is free of charge, and the programme is especially targeted at everyone working with bibliometrics. We warmly welcome participants from among researchers; university, polytechnics and research organisation’s research administration and libraries, the Ministry of Education and Culture; as well as from organisations granting research funding.
The seminar is bilingual: some speeches will be held in English, others in Finnish.
There are a limited number of seats at the venue, but remote participation in the seminar / web conferencing is possible.
Three days, 37 lecture presentations, 16 poster presentations and 141 participants from 16 countries. The annual Nordic Workshop on Bibliometrics and Research Policy (NWB) brought the most recent currents of bibliometrics from the Nordic countries and from across Europe to the House of Science and Letters in Helsinki.
The presentations during the three days from 8–10 November offered a wide range of perspectives on bibliometrics, from mathematical formulae to research policies and the societal impact of science [see the NWB program, incl. abstracts). Many presentations took the perspective of open science, and citation curves favoring OA articles were a common sight. All presentation material has been published in Figshare.
The actual workshop sessions on Thursday and Friday were preceded by Wednesday’s pre-workshop event, which attracted the full hall to the upper floor of the House of Science and Letters. In the pre-workshop’s keynote speech, Kim Holmberg from the RUSE research unit discussed measuring researchers’ online visibility, especially altmetrics.
During the event, NWB tweeters were active on Twitter, and on Thursday #NWB2017 rose momentarily to the top 20 hashtags in Finland along with #Catalonia and #peräkonttigate.
In his speech Piro discussed measurement issues and the differences the report reveales between the Nordic countries. He emphasized that the purpose of the report is to provide higher education institutions with information for developing their research activities. However, the actual use of the report is university-specific.
“Many universities say that yes, we have read the report and we use it some way. In some cases the use of the report is very specific. For example, one university uses it in their development contract with the Ministry. These reports are useful for many purposes, but the benchmarking of other institutions is the main thing. The report is not about ranking, but about providing information for comparison,” claims Piro.
The comparison shows that although the number of publications in Nordic countries is rising sharply, its global share in production is falling. From the Nordic countries’ point of view, the strong fields in international comparison are the social sciences, business studies, economics, and the health sciences. In Finland, certain areas of medicine are declining in comparison with other Nordic countries.
“Research in the Nordic countries is growing in the social sciences and health-related fields. But in the natural sciences, we are declining. Finland is a bit different. Its growth in material science, geosciences and also mathematics and statistics is higher than in other Nordic countries. But on the other hand, the growth of biomedicine and clinical medicine in Finland was negative from 1999 to 2014. That’s very unique,” says Piro.
Research culture eroding scientific credibility
In Friday’s keynote speech, Jesper Schneider from Aarhus University discussed the phenomenon of science crisis. Schneider pointed out that it is easy to find strong opinions on the subject, but verifying these views is another case. Instead of scientific scams, Schneider focused on questionable research practices (QRP).
“Fraud cases are rare. Questionable research practices are the grey area, and are frequently overlooked because they don’t seem as serious as misconduct. But the total effect of biases and misuses could really have a huge influence on scientific results. This grey area ranges from sloppy research to errors and biases, and at some point, it becomes a legal issue,” claims Schneider.
According to Schneider, questionable research practices vary by discipline, organization and country. Schneider specifically discussed the problem of reproducibility of research in the soft sciences, i.e. in social and human sciences.
The pressure to publish more and more, and fierce competition – or “perverse incentives in academic capitalism” – are potential causes of the science crisis. However, Schneider emphasizes that the phenomenon requires a lot more research, because the current knowledge basis is hugely incomplete. He argues that further research is worthwhile, as the credibility of science is at stake.
Best moment at NWB?
So, three days of bibliometrics – what was the best moment? According to Hans Jessen Hansen from the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science, the two keynote speeches by Fredrik Niclas Piro and Jesper Schneider summarized shortly above.
“They had a little bit more time, so they got into their subjects more deeply. As for those two presentations, I wrote notes about all the presentations I saw,” says Hansen.
Julie Riisom Wisborg from the University Library of Southern Denmark emphasized the social dimension of the event; the importance of encounters.
“I’m impressed by the very friendly atmosphere here. I did my poster presentation on Thursday, and the comments and questions were great. I think this sort of event gives you totally new possibilities to interact with people you wouldn’t interact with on the internet. And you learn things you wouldn’t even think to look for,” says Riisom Wisborg.
Gunnar Sivertsen from the Norwegian NIFU research institute was the chairman in two NWB sessions and also participated in two presentations.
“It’s difficult to pick out what one best thing, because it’s a combination of presentations and discussions, also discussions outside the formal sessions. So, what I appreciate most is the networking, new contacts and new ideas. This has been one of the most well-organized workshops, so I’d like to congratulate the organizers,” says Sivertsen.
Even though Wi-Fi didn’t work?
“It was even better without Wi-Fi, because we could concentrate more on the here and now,” says Sivertsen.
HULib was also present on stage: Eva Isaksson discussed the evaluation of research publications in astronomy and astrophysics, Susanna Nykyri introduced research data metrics from the University of Helsinki’s perspective and Terhi Sandgren asked in her presentation, “Are publication databases suitable for studying the publishing practices of a multidisciplinary research field at subdisciplinary level?”
Next year the event will take place in Borås, Sweden. Lycka till!
The Bibliometrics Seminar is organised by the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Council for Finnish University Libraries, the University of Helsinki Library and CSC – IT Center for Science Ltd.
The theme of the seminar is research evaluation and bibliometric tools. The seminar is free of charge, and the programme is especially targeted at everyone working with bibliometrics. We warmly welcome participants from among researchers; university, polytechnics and research organisation’s research administration and libraries, the Ministry of Education and Culture; as well as from organisations granting research funding.
The seminar is bilingual: some speeches will be held in English, others in Finnish.
Tua Hindersson-Söderholm, Hanken School of Economics
The Stages of Development in Bibliometrics in Finland (in Finnish)
National and local bibliometric services in the future: (in Finnish)
The bibliometric services offered by the Ministry of Education
Making use of bibliometric tools in the university
Jukka Haapamäki, Ministry of Education and Culture
Eva Isaksson, Helsinki University Library
Altmetrics – What We Know, What We Don’t Know, and What We Need to Know
Altmetric Tools in Finnish university libraries – case examples
Kim Holmberg, University of Turku
Jukka Englund, University of Helsinki Library; N.N.
Bibliometrics and Current Research Information Systems
Gunnar Sivertsen, Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU)
Panel discussion: Bibliometrics and Publication Forum as criteria for research evaluation
Lea Ryynänen-Karjalainen, The Federation of Finnish Learned Societies (chair); Keijo Hämäläinen, University of Helsinki; Sari Kivistö, University of Tampere; Timo Korkeamäki, Hanken; Gunnar Sivertsen. NIFU; Otto Auranen, Academy of Finland
Remote participation in the seminar / web conferencing is possible. Details about remote participation will be announced later on agenda site.
Autumn is the time of University Rankings. In August we got Shanghai, in September QS World University and now Times Higher Education (THE). The latter offered the University of Helsinki a considerable rise from place 103 to 76.
Let´s see more detailed which role the bibliometric methods play in these results. In the Shanghai ranking they comprise 40% of the total result, in the QS ranking only 20%. In the THE ranking references bring 30% of the result and publication volume 6%.
Sometimes databases can play a central role. Instead of Web of Science, THE is now for the first time using Scopus. This crossover has also raised the rankings of other European and Finnish universities in contrast to American Universities whose ratings now sank. However, also QS uses Scopus but in its ratings the ranking of the University of Helsinki has sunk. Explanation to this is the significant change which has taken place in the means of measuring. Five of the largest disciplines are now equally emphasized. In this method medicine and natural sciences usually lose impact in publication ratings.
Library and Metrics Tools
Shanghai ranking uses the Web of Science in its quantitative method likewise Taiwan (TNU) ranking, which results we expect in October. TNU rankings are solely based on the bibliometric indicators.
Both Web of Science and Scopus are accessible in the University of Helsinki network, likewise the Analyzing tools of these databases: InCites and SciVal. The Helsinki University Library´s Metrics team actively uses these tools as part of their analysis.
Text: Eva Isaksson
Translation and editing: Ursula Virolainen