• A comparison of title words for journal articles and Wikipedia pages: Coverage and stylistic differences?

      Thelwall, Mike; Sud, Pardeep (La Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología (FECYT), 2018-02-12)
      This article assesses whether there are gaps in Wikipedia’s coverage of academic information and whether there are non-obvious stylistic differences from academic journal articles that Wikipedia users and editors should be aware of. For this, it analyses terms in the titles of journal articles that are absent from all English Wikipedia page titles for each of 27 Scopus subject categories. The results show that English Wikipedia has lower coverage of issues of interest to non-English nations and there are gaps probably caused by a lack of willing subject specialist editors in some areas. There were also stylistic disciplinary differences in the results, with some fields using synonyms of “analysing” that were ignored in Wikipedia, and others using the present tense in titles to emphasise research outcomes. Since Wikipedia is broadly effective at covering academic research topics from all disciplines, it might be relied upon by non-specialists. Specialists should therefore check for coverage gaps within their areas for useful topics and librarians should caution users that important topics may be missing.
    • Can alternative indicators overcome language biases in citation counts? A comparison of Spanish and UK research

      Mas-Bleda, Amalia; Thelwall, Mike (Springer, 2016-09-09)
      This study compares Spanish and UK research in eight subject fields using a range of bibliometric and social media indicators. For each field, lists of Spanish and UK journal articles published in the year 2012 and their citation counts were extracted from Scopus. The software Webometric Analyst was then used to extract a range of altmetrics for these articles, including patent citations, online presentation mentions, online course syllabus mentions, Wikipedia mentions and Mendeley reader counts and Altmetric.com was used to extract Twitter mentions. Results show that Mendeley is the altmetric source with the highest coverage, with 80% of sampled articles having one or more Mendeley readers, followed by Twitter (34%). The coverage of the remaining sources was lower than 3%. All of the indicators checked either have too little data or increase the overall difference between Spain and the UK and so none can be suggested as alternatives to reduce the bias against Spain in traditional citation indexes.
    • Can Microsoft Academic assess the early citation impact of in-press articles? A multi-discipline exploratory analysis

      Kousha, Kayvan; Abdoli, Mahshid; Thelwall, Mike (Elsevier, 2018-02-03)
      Many journals post accepted articles online before they are formally published in an issue. Early citation impact evidence for these articles could be helpful for timely research evaluation and to identify potentially important articles that quickly attract many citations. This article investigates whether Microsoft Academic can help with this task. For over 65,000 Scopus in-press articles from 2016 and 2017 across 26 fields, Microsoft Academic found 2-5 times as many citations as Scopus, depending on year and field. From manual checks of 1,122 Microsoft Academic citations not found in Scopus, Microsoft Academic’s citation indexing was faster but not much wider than Scopus for journals. It achieved this by associating citations to preprints with their subsequent in-press versions and by extracting citations from in-press articles. In some fields its coverage of scholarly digital libraries, such as arXiv.org, was also an advantage. Thus, Microsoft Academic seems to be a more comprehensive automatic source of citation counts for in-press articles than Scopus.
    • Do journal data sharing mandates work? Life sciences evidence from Dryad

      Thelwall, Mike; Kousha, Kayvan (Emerald, 2017-01-01)
      Purpose: Data sharing is widely thought to help research quality and efficiency. Since data sharing mandates are increasingly adopted by journals this paper assesses whether they work. Design/methodology: This study examines two evolutionary biology journals, Evolution and Heredity, that have data sharing mandates and make extensive use of Dryad. It uses a quantitative analysis of presence in Dryad, downloads and citations. Findings: Within both journals, data sharing seems to be complete showing that the mandates work on a technical level. Low correlations (0.15-0.18) between data downloads and article citation counts for articles published in 2012 within these journals indicate a weak relationship between data sharing and research impact. An average of 40-55 data downloads per article after a few years suggests that some use is found for shared life sciences data. Research limitations: The value of shared data uses is unclear. Practical implications: Data sharing mandates should be encouraged as an effective strategy. Originality/value: This is the first analysis of the effectiveness of data sharing mandates.
    • Does Astronomy research become too dated for the public? Wikipedia citations to Astronomy and Astrophysics journal articles 1996-2014

      Thelwall, Mike (Fundacion Espanola para la ciencia y la technologia, 2016-11-14)
      Astronomy is a natural science attracting substantial public interest. On a human scale, most individual celestial objects are essentially unchanging but is the same true for interest in astronomy research? This article uses the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia as a proxy for public interest in academic research and assesses the extent to which it cites astronomy and astrophysics articles published between 1996 and 2014. Automatic Bing searches in Webometric Analyst were used to count the number of citations to astronomy and astrophysics articles from Wikipedia. The results show that older papers from before 2008 are increasingly less likely to be cited. This is true overall and in most of the major language versions of Wikipedia, although it may reflect editors’ interests rather than the public’s interests. This is consistent with a moderate tendency towards obsolescence in public interest in research, although it is probably affected by the dates on which most Wikipedia content on the topic was created. Papers may become obsolete if they report evidence that are later superseded by improved data or if they propose a model that is later replaced.
    • Does Mendeley provide evidence of the educational value of journal articles?

      Thelwall, Mike (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016-12-07)
      Research articles seem to have direct value for students in some subject areas, even though scholars may be their target audience. If this can be proven to be true, then subject areas with this type of educational impact could justify claims for enhanced funding. To seek evidence of disciplinary differences in the direct educational uptake of journal articles, but ignoring books, conference papers, and other scholarly outputs, this paper assesses the total number and proportions of student readers of academic articles in Mendeley across 12 different subjects. The results suggest that whilst few students read mathematics research articles, in other areas, the number of student readers is broadly proportional to the number of research readers. Although the differences in the average numbers of undergraduate readers of articles varies by up to 50 times between subjects, this could be explained by the differing levels of uptake of Mendeley rather than the differing educational value of disciplinary research. Overall, then, the results do not support the claim that journal articles in some areas have substantially more educational value than average for academia, compared with their research value.
    • Figshare: A universal repository for academic resource sharing?

      Thelwall, Mike; Kousha, Kayvan (Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2015-12-18)
      Purpose A number of subject-orientated and general websites have emerged to host academic resources. It is important to evaluate the uptake of such services in order to decide which depositing strategies are effective and should be encouraged. Design/methodology/approach This article evaluates the views and shares of resources in the generic repository Figshare by subject category and resource type. Findings Figshare use and common resource types vary substantially by subject category but resources can be highly viewed even in subjects with few members. Subject areas with more resources deposited do not tend to have higher viewing or sharing statistics. Practical implications Limited uptake of Figshare within a subject area should not be a barrier to its use. Several highly successful innovative uses for Figshare show that it can reach beyond a purely academic audience. Originality/value This is the first analysis of the uptake and use of a generic academic resource sharing repository.
    • Goodreads Reviews to Assess the Wider Impacts of Books

      Kousha, Kayvan; Thelwall, Mike; Abdoli, Mahshid (John Wiley & Sons, 2017-06-01)
      Although peer-review and citation counts are commonly used to help assess the scholarly impact of published research, informal reader feedback might also be exploited to help assess the wider impacts of books, such as their educational or cultural value. The social website Goodreads seems to be a reasonable source for this purpose because it includes a large number of book reviews and ratings by many users inside and outside of academia. To check this, Goodreads book metrics were compared with different book-based impact indicators for 15,928 academic books across broad fields. Goodreads engagements were numerous enough in the Arts (85% of books had at least one), Humanities (80%) and Social Sciences (67%) for use as a source of impact evidence. Low and moderate correlations between Goodreads book metrics and scholarly or non-scholarly indicators suggest that reader feedback in Goodreads reflects the many purposes of books rather than a single type of impact. Although Goodreads book metrics can be manipulated they could be used guardedly by academics, authors, and publishers in evaluations.
    • Web citations in patents: Evidence of technological impact?

      Enrique Orduna-Malea; Thelwall, Mike; Kousha, Kayvan; EC3 Research Group, Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), 46022 Valencia, Spain (Wiley Blackwell, 2017-07-17)
      Patents sometimes cite web pages either as general background to the problem being addressed or to identify prior publications that will limit the scope of the patent granted. Counts of the number of patents citing an organisation’s website may therefore provide an indicator of its technological capacity or relevance. This article introduces methods to extract URL citations from patents and evaluates the usefulness of counts of patent web citations as a technology indicator. An analysis of patents citing 200 US universities or 177 UK universities found computer science and engineering departments to be frequently cited, as well as research-related web pages, such as Wikipedia, YouTube or Internet Archive. Overall, however, patent URL citations seem to be frequent enough to be useful for ranking major US and the top few UK universities if popular hosted subdomains are filtered out, but the hit count estimates on the first search engine results page should not be relied upon for accuracy.