Citation selfies

Just in at the “Oh that such wickedness could be!” desk

Clarivate’s new Journal Citation Report warns of “self-stacking,”  “a new type of anomalous citation behaviour,”  where a journal include citations to itself – presumably to improve its impact factor.  And there you were thinking Instagram Influencers are the worst.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Angel Calderon (RMIT) (critically) reviews two big-name rankings, U-Multirank and Nature Index HERE

plus Cathy Xu, Brian Stoddart and Keith Houghton on what’s next for digital delivery in education. It won’t be for everybody but digital will deliver for plenty of people, starting with tech-lit coursework graduate students. “Studying when and where they want and at a pace of their choosing, will be key drivers of demand.”

and Dawn Gilmore (RMIT) and Chin Nguyen (Curio) set out pros and cons to make on-line learning partnerships work. This week’s excellent selection in Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s celebrated series, Needed now in learning and teaching.

and in Expert Opinion

Angel Calderon (RMIT) on the new Leiden research rankings – why it’s the one the experts rate and what the new edition means for Aus unis.

Josiah Koh and colleagues talk about what AI can deliver for teaching and learning and student support.

Both (and all the other episodes) are HERE

Unis Aus not complaining about training

CEO Catriona Jackson was on Sky News yesterday, playing an admirably straight bat

Ms Jackson was asked about training enrolments outstripping growth in uni students and deftly ducked any comparison. “I think it’s a good thing that people are undertaking any kind of education. We know we need more, not less, for the skills needs of the economy,” she said.

And lest anyone miss the point, she made it again, “if we have a strong university system, a strong vocational education system, we have a strong economy. It’s as simple as that.”

It really is – the new government is keen on training and sticking to old scripts about unis being underfunded will not make friends in cabinet.


Carnegie Mellon U to exit Adelaide

The university will teach-out existing students

The Pittsburgh PA uni attributes the decision to the impact of the pandemic, “a move to blended learning” and “the establishment of on-shore campuses in traditional source countries, including many in Asia,” which “have all significantly impacted the Australian inbound education market.”

However not all Carnegie Mellon’s international ventures have come to naught. The university “will continue to serve its students” at its other international campuses and in programmes, in locations including Portugal, Qatar and Rwanda.

Carnegie Mellon teaches public policy, management and IT in Adelaide, with 1600 people completing degrees since it set up in 2006, wooed by then SA premier Mike Rann.

Another off-shore entrant University College London closed its Adelaide campus in 2020 in favour of a partnership arrangement with Uni SA.

What’s next for researchers

People get research helps everybody – the pandemic delivered that

But popularity does not make policy and researchers face new challenges of purpose and priorities. Join research policy makers and opinion shapers at CMM-Twig Marketing’s on-line conference, “What’s next for the people who can save the world.”  Details HERE.


Chief Scientist has a plan for open access

Her brief includes “champion” research open access – she has a plan

The most excellent Parliamentary Library’s new briefing book for MPs and senators includes a link to Chief Scientist Cathy Foley’s “Australian Model for Open Access” – but alas the link goes to a statement, “copyright restrictions prevent us from showing the contents of this document.” Which surely indicates the need for whatever she has in mind.

But Dr Foley set out what might be the plan’s objectives in a briefing for the Australian Library and Information Association in November, HERE

She presented eight principles of an Australian Model for Open Access

* use and increase benefits from existing expenditure on subscriptions and publishing

* free access for all peer-reviewed journal articles from pub date for all residents of Australia

* all Australian peer-reviewed journal articles are openly accessible internationally from pub date

* “recognise the role of publishers in the system and ensure the sustainability of their businesses”

* “support research integrity by facilitating the provision of quality metadata, keeping versions of record and assisting in discoverability”

* author autonomy on where to publish

* internationally interoperable infrastructure

* equitable for all “stakeholders”

As to paying for it

Dr Foley suggested funds now spent with publishers should be, “available to a central implementation body” which negotiates OA agreements.

The Chief Scientist added she wanted this to be, “an on-going sustainable model with an on-going funding stream.”

Pandemic drives research

“The massive and rapid response of the scholarly community to COVID-19 extends far beyond medical care or medical sciences, and its ripples will continue for years, or decades”

Research analyst Clarivate announces its 2021 Journal Citation Report, which measures impact factors (citations divided by “source items”) as recorded in the Web of Science collection.

There were one million citations (a first) to Nature last year. Of its 16 (what Clarivate calls) items with over 500 citations, 12 were COVID-19 related. The Lancet took the top impact spot in general medicine, with three of the top ten highest cited articles, all of them pandemic related.

Clarivate adds there were 25 per cent more articles and citations in ’21 than ’20, not just article about COVID-19 itself but also on aspects of the global crisis it created, “from the influence of lockdowns in measures of social/economic equality, to how disruptions in the supply chain affected agriculture.”

“The massive and rapid response of the scholarly community to COVID-19 extends far beyond medical care or medical sciences, and its ripples will continue for years, or decades,” Clarivate states.

Which is good, but what really interests authors and editors is where their journal ranked against the competition

For 2021 there are citation factors for 12 828 science journals, 6691 in social sciences, and 3092 in arts/humanities.



UK based Advance HE (“promoting excellence in higher education”) announces three appointments to its Australasian Strategic Advisory Board,  Tracey Bunda (Uni Queensland),  Helen Huntly (CQU) and Susan Page (Western Sydney U).

Holly Seale (UNSW) receives an impact award from the NSW Public Health Association, for her COVID-19 “vaccination glossary and training program targeting people from diverse backgrounds.”