Publication Metrics

Publishing metrics have a strong influence on science communication and directly affect the different actors of the process (mainly authors, readers, funding agencies and institutions). This session will cover traditional and alternative metrics, including a general introduction to the challenges associated with metrics, communications from the European and Mexican Associations of science editors, and the implications of a new metric for measuring the impact factor of bioresources, BRIF.


Paola de Castro, Istituto Superiore di Sanita,Rome, Italy


Metrics, what metrics?

Remedios Melero, Spanish National Research Council , Valencia, Spain

Research articles have traditionally been measured by the proxy measure of the journal Impact Factor, developed by Eugene Garfield in the 1960s. Subsequent advances in technology, media, and ways of scholarly communication have made it possible to trace the impact of an individual article that is published digitally. We have progressed from Gutenberg to the post-Gutenberg era, from print to the digital age, from bibliometrics to altmetrics/ cybermetrics/ webometrics. What do these terms mean? In brief, altmetrics combines data from traditional science dissemination channels and citation counts with data collected from places where scientists, students, policymakers and members of the public talk about science online – e.g. blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or scholarly networks such as ResearchGate or Altmetrics expands the meaning of impact, well beyond citations. An article becomes a complex digital object that can be de-constructed into its constituent parts that can also be traced and followed themselves (datasets, audio, video, supplementary material). Examples from the Public Library of Science,, ImpactStory and ReaderMeter among others will illustrate how these new metrics are applied to scientific publications and their components.

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EASE’s view on publication metrics and the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment

Arjan Polderman1 and Chris Sterken2
1Pharmaceutisch Weekblad, the Netherlands;
2The Journal of Astronomical Data (University of Brussels)

This presentation will give an overview of EASE’s activities concerning the use and misuse of the Journal Impact Factor. The 7th EASE Conference of 2000 devoted three workshops and the closing plenary session to this topic and it was suggested that EASE should take action to discourage improper use. This resulted in the EASE statement on inappropriate use of impact factors in November 2007. The Statement met with a lot of sympathy and some scientific societies endorsed it, but the impact was low. In December 2012, at the Annual Meeting of The American Society for Cell Biology in San Francisco, a group of editors and publishers decided to issue the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). EASE was asked to support the initiative, which we did, because the DORA has the same purpose as the EASE Statement: eliminating journal-based metrics as a tool in assessing research quality and consequently in career and funding considerations. Some aspects of the DORA will be elaborated.

Behavior of obsolescence in Mexican public health journals

Magda Luz Atrián Salazar1 and Salvador Gorbea Portal2
1AMERBAC, Mexican Association of Biomedical Journal Editors, Mexico; 2Institute of Library and Information Research, National Autonomous University of Mexico

The rapid growth of information is reducing the usefulness of the scientific literature. The bibliometric regularity known as obsolescence of information comprises a chronological noise in the system of scientific communication. Furthermore, its behavior is measured in multi-synchronous studies from the time the references were used in articles published in scientific journals. This presentation will describe a study to determine the loss of usefulness in information published in three Mexican Public Health journals, with the purpose of measuring the level of obsolescence in scientific literature in Mexico. Measurements concerning the factors in aging, loss of usefulness, average life span and the current level of the journals showed that relevant data were available for making decisions on editorial policy of the journals studied.

An impact factor for bioresources

Laurence Mabile1, Elena Bravo2, Alessia Calzolari2, Ann Cambon Thomsen2, Federica Napolitani2, Anna Maria Rossi2, Paola De Castro2

1Inserm, Université Toulouse III–Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France;
2Istituto Superiore di sanità, Rome, Italy

The Bioresource Research Impact Factor (BRIF) project is an ongoing international initiative to create suitable methods to recognise and measure the use and impact of biological resources in scientific/academic work, in order to maximize access by researchers to collections of biological materials and attached databases, and to recognize efforts involved in their maintenance. The goal is the adoption of a biobank unique identifier for easy and reliable retrieval of biobank-based research. The BRIF and journal editors subgroup undertakes multi-sectorial activities involving both researchers and science editors, to foster the definition of a standardized citation format for bioresources in journal articles. The European Association of Science Editors has actively participated in many of the subgroup initiatives, including the workshop held in June 2013, organized to discuss the best strategies to promote a standardized bioresource citation. This presentation will describe recent initiatives of the subgroup, in particular those involving the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and concerning the Medical Subject Headings, which is the NLM controlled vocabulary thesaurus used for indexing articles for PubMed, and the NLM Citing Medicine, which provides instructions and guidelines for authors, editors and publishers for formatting citations to different types of material.