Outputs from Bibliometrics in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences conference

Here are the links to presentations given at the recent #AHSSmetrics conference at the University of Westminster, 24 March 2017. Many thanks to all the presenters, and to the participants, for a stimulating day. For those who missed the event, Karen Rowlett has helpfully created a Storify of the tweets at https://storify.com/karenanya/bibliometrics-for-the-arts-and-humanities.

10.00 Welcome – Martin Doherty – Head of Department, Dept of History, Sociology & Criminology, University of Westminster

10.10 Opening Panel: How appropriate is bibliometrics for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences?( Chaired by Katie Evans, University of Bath) – Peter Darroch (Plum Analytics), Professor Jane Winters (School of Advanced Study and Senate House Library), Stephen Grace (London South Bank University)

10.40 Citation metrics across disciplines – Google Scholar, Scopus and the Web of Science: A cross-disciplinary comparison – Anne-Wil Harzing (University of Middlesex)

11.20 Tea & Coffee

11.50 Impacts of reputation metrics and contemporary art practices – Emily Rosamond (Arts University of Bournemouth)

12.20 Bibliometrics as a research tool: The international rise of Jurgen Habermas – Christian Morgner (University of Leicester) NB presentation in person only

1.00 Lunch (Kindly sponsored by Plum Analytics)

1.45 Workshop: Practice with PoP: How to use Publish or Perish effectively? (laptop with PoP software installed needed) – Anne-Wil Harzing

2.45 A funder’s perspective: bibliometrics and the arts and humanities – Sumi David (AHRC)

3.15 Bibliometric Competencies – Sabrina Petersohn (University of Wuppertal)

3.45 Tea & Coffee

4.00 Lightning talks:

4.30 Round Up by Stephanie Meece (University of the Arts London)

Round up from Bibliometrics in Practice event

JUNE 2016 WILL GO DOWN IN THE ANNALS OF HISTORY FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS…Britain voted to leave the European Union, Andy Murray won Wimbledon for the second time, it was the hottest month ever recorded in history …and “Bibliometrics in Practice” took place in Manchester!
Sixty of the best and brightest minds from across the HE sector and beyond assembled in the sleek modern interior of Manchester Metropolitan University’s Business School. The delegate list was packed with analysts, librarians, consultants, research managers, planners, impact managers, researchers and digital managers from across a wide range of universities. We even attracted visitors from Charles Darwin University in Australia!
Ruth Jenkins, Director of Library Services (Manchester Metropolitan) welcomed everyone to Manchester before LIS-BIBLIO’s Lizzie Gadd blew the whistle and got the game underway.
First up was the opening plenary, “What is the place of bibliometrics in universities?” The aim here was to present a variety of perspectives from the individuals within universities who are generally tasked with taking care of all things biblio. Nathalie Cornee gave delegates a “behind the scenes” look at the approach of LSE’s Library Services before handing the baton to Dr. Andrew Walsh (University of Manchester) who provided insights from his role as a research manager. Professor Alan Dix (Birmingham / TALIS) rounded things off with the findings from his analysis of REF2014 data through a bibliometric lens . All was skilfully moderated by LIS BIBLIO’s Stephen Pearson.
From there we segued seamlessly into Dr. Ian Rowlands (Leicester) who delved deeper into statistical analysis in a session called “The strange world of bibliometric numbers: implications for professional practice” in which he managed to link the humble fruit fly to bibliometrics! The audience clearly loved it – “real food for thought” said one, “exceptional” said another…
After a large and hearty lunch, made possible by the generosity of sponsors Thomson Reuters, it was time for networking and catching up with old friends before heading off into the afternoon sessions.
Loughborough University’s Michael Norris joined forces with Lizzie Gadd to present a workshop on bibliometric competencies. This exciting development is aiming to take an engaged approach to building up a set of community-wide standards around managing bibliometrics…keep an eye on the blog for future details.
In the middle of the afternoon the audience split into two breakout sessions. Tanya Williamson (Lancaster University) gave us chapter and verse on a fascinating ESRC funded seminar series called “Designing the academic self, what metrics based publication can and can’t tell us”  whilst Professor Alan Dix gave us permission to “Get your hands dirty with the REF” in the adjoining room.
After all of that, there was just about time for a last minute wrap up, thank-yous and good-byes as Katie Evans bade a fond farewell to the LIS-BIBLIO Community.
All we were left with was our memories…and the evaluation feedback which shows that we did some things very well; you loved the speakers, the range of topics, the practical workshops, the networking, the venue and the lunch and that we have some room for improvement; you wanted slightly more networking time, the ability to experience all the breakouts, even more case studies and sessions that were pitched at different levels of expertise.



Event report: Theory & Practice of Bibliometric Analysis by Charles Oppenheim

On Wednesday, 15th June I had the pleasure of attending a Jisc-supported Thomson-Reuters one-day event at Edinburgh University Library on the theory, and practice of bibliometric analysis for evaluating research and planning research policy.  The morning was spent on the theory, and there were practical hands-on sessions in the afternoon, based on exercises that were given out to us.

As it was based upon the Jisc-supported Web of Science team, it was not surprising that all the examples, and the exercises, were based on Web of Science, Journal Citation Reports and Incites.  However, this was definitely not a sales pitch for Thomson-Reuters services.  The speakers were at pains to point out that the theory, and the practice applied to any value-added service – in other words, that what we learned applied equally well to Scopus and SciVal.  There was clear implied criticism, though, of the free of charge, non-value added Publish or Perish + Google Scholar approach.

The presentations were somewhat rushed, and assumed a reasonable amount of prior knowledge.  I got the impression that the audience, primarily University of Edinburgh staff but including a few outsiders like me, were OK with the level of knowledge assumed, but I felt that the presenters were trying to pack too much in.  In the practical sessions, the presenters wandered around the delegates, each of whom had a terminal connected to Incites in front of them, making sure they were progressing well.  That part worked very well. There was a Q & A session at the end, but I had to leave early to catch a train, so missed that.

So what did I learn?  That the amount of value added, in terms of both manual and automated correcting of errors and of inconsistencies in source articles, and cited references, is impressive, and accounts no doubt for a significant part of the cost of these services.  I also learned that InCites (and I believe, SciVal) has an impressively large range of calculations it can do and a great choice in the way the results can be presented.  Indeed, I would argue that InCites has too much to offer –  the user interface can be confusing at times and is sometimes a bit inconsistent.  The best part was the morning basics.  There were health warnings a-plenty. Make sure the data you collect and analyse is what you need; don’t use single measures when you can obtain several; always normalise your results against what is the average for that subject area, for that country, for that time period.  Don’t depend on things like the Journal Impact Factor or the h index in isolation to evaluate people or research.  Be aware of the limitations of the h index.  It was not just that this was sensible advice; it was all the more impressive because these are the people who you might expect could over-sell these things.  The presenters didn’t actually apologise for ISI inventing the Journal Impact Factor, but they came close to it!

We were given handouts of the slides and the exercises, but it would have been nice to have been provided some of the PowerPoint slides in a format that could be re-used by delegates when explaining bibliometrics to colleagues.  Some reduction in the introductory slides to allow more time for discussion would have been good.  Also, a few slides shown in the handouts were not shown on the screen, and a few new slides appeared on screen that were not the handouts.  An attendance list would also have been helpful.  But these are minor quibbles.  Overall, this was a worthwhile day and the presenters should be congratulated for their hard work.

Charles Oppenheim