Digital Science – a technology company that combines world-class technology with a resolute focus on scientists and those who support the research process, today unveiled its Digital Research Reports series.
This new, quarterly series of publications about research data and analytical possibilities kicks off with a look at what academic researchers chose to submit for assessment compared to what they say best represents leading research in their field. Titled, “Evidence for Excellence: Has the Signal Overtaken the Substance?” the report concludes that academics:
- Prioritise journals over other publications
- Accelerate publication rates at RAE time
- Favour journals with high average citation impact and amongst those journals,
- Are persuaded that a high Impact Factor beats a convincing article.
Later this year, we will also report on other parts of the research ecosystem. For example, what can we learn about research activity from data about data, figures, graphs and tables? How will the system respond to mandates to make all publicly funded research data openly available? And we will also look at the other ways in which people mention and alert one another to new research papers via Twitter, Facebook and blogs. Can this be a source of valid information about the social and economic impact of research?
Overall, we aim to address the challenge of better information for people engaged in research as well as sounder and more relevant information for policy and evaluation purposes. Our reports are written for all kinds of people who deal with ‘research’, to inform, to stimulate discussion and sometimes to provoke debate. And our focus is on how to use the available numbers to deliver more, better research as well as tracking what research has already been done.