Open Access News

News from the open access movement


Thursday, July 19, 2007

The OA Scientometric Web

Tim Brody, Les Carr, Alma Swan, and Stevan Harnad, Time to Convert to Metrics, Research Fortnight, July 18, 2007 (accessible only to subscribers, at least so far).  Excerpt:

…But, in the online age, citation links are just a special form of web link between a citing article and one or more cited articles. If he had been starting now, [Eugene] Garfield would not have been working on a proprietary database descended from the cut-and-paste paper era; he would have been developing open access scientometrics….

Two very important online developments are currently converging in the UK. First, authors are making their research free for all online (“open access”, OA), to maximise its use and impact. And second, research funders are using metrics to rank and reward research contributions on the basis of online measures of their usefulness and impact….

Citation metrics today are based largely on journal articles citing journal articles —and mostly just those 8,000 journals that are indexed by ISI’s Web of Science. That represents only a third (although probably the top third) of the total number of peer-reviewed journals published today, across all disciplines and all languages. Open access self-archiving can make the other two-thirds of journal articles linkable and countable too….

At Southampton, the world’s first departmental self-archiving mandate helped to demonstrate that OA enhances research impact. We also contributed to the movement to convert the RAE from panels to metrics. If Eugene Garfield had come of age in the online era, he would be at Southampton designing the Open Access Scientometric Web.