Escaping ‘bibliometric coloniality’, ‘epistemic inequality’

“Africa’s scholarly journals compete on an unequal playing field because of a lack of funding and the struggle to sustain academic credibility.

“These inequalities are exacerbated by the growing influence of the major citation indexes, leading to what we have called bibliometric coloniality,” say the authors of the book, Who Counts? Ghanaian academic publishing and global science, published by African Minds at the start of 2023.

“The rules of the game continue to be defined outside the continent. We hope that, in some small way, this book contributes to the renaissance and renewal of African-centred research and publishing infrastructures,” the authors say….”

Recalibrating the Scope of Scholarly Publishing: A Modest Step in a Vast Decolonization Process | Quantitative Science Studies | MIT Press

Abstract:  By analyzing 25,671 journals largely absent from common journal counts, as well as Web of Science and Scopus, this study demonstrates that scholarly communication is more of a global endeavor than is commonly credited. These journals, employing the open source publishing platform Open Journal Systems (OJS), have published 5.8 million items; they are in 136 countries, with 79.9% in the Global South and 84.2% following the OA diamond model (charging neither reader nor author). A substantial proportion of journals operate in more than one language (48.3%), with research published in a total of 60 languages (led by English, Indonesian, Spanish, and Portuguese). The journals are distributed across the social sciences (45.9%), STEM (40.3%), and the humanities (13.8%). For all their geographic, linguistic, and disciplinary diversity, 1.2% are indexed in the Web of Science and 5.7% in Scopus. On the other hand, 1.0% are found in Cabells Predatory Reports, while 1.4% show up in Beall’s questionable list. This paper seeks to both contribute and historically situate expanded scale and diversity of scholarly publishing in the hope that this recognition may assist humankind in taking full advantage of what is increasingly a global research enterprise.


Analyzing Your Institution’s Publishing Output

Abstract:  Understanding institutional publishing output is crucial to scholarly communications work. This class will equip participants to analyze article publishing by authors at an institution.

After completing the course, participants will be able to

Gain an understanding of their institution’s publishing output, such as number of publications per year, open access status of the publications, major funders of the research, and estimates of how much funding might be spent toward article processing charges (APCs).
Think critically about institutional publishing data to make sustainable and values-driven scholarly communications decisions.

This course will build on open infrastructure, including Unpaywall and OpenRefine. We will provide examples of how to do analyses in both OpenRefine and Microsoft Excel. 

The course will consist of two parts. In the first, participants will learn how to build a dataset. We will provide lessons about downloading data from different sources: Web of Science, Scopus, and The Lens. (Web of Science and Scopus are subscription databases; The Lens is freely available.) 

In the second part of the course, participants will learn data analysis methods that can help answer questions such as:

Should you cancel or renew a subscription?
Who is funding your institution’s researchers?
Are your institution’s authors using an institutional repository?
Should you accept a publisher’s open access publishing offer?

Library agreements with publishers are at a crucial turning point, as they more and more often include OA publishing. By learning to do these analyses for themselves, participants will be better prepared to enter into negotiations with a publisher. The expertise developed through this course can make the uneven playing field of library-publisher negotiations slightly more even.

Course materials will be openly available. This will be a facilitated course taught by the authors.

Librarians gain new insights into their researchers’ arXiv usage | blog

“Founded three decades ago, arXiv is now home to more than 2 million open access scholarly articles by researchers in disciplines ranging from computer science to economics.

With its ambitious mission to provide an open platform where researchers can share and discover new, relevant, and emerging science, arXiv’s popularity has continued to grow in recent years. In fact, in many fields of mathematics and physics, the majority of scientific papers are posted on arXiv prior to their publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

arXiv is hosted at Cornell University, with financial support from the Simons Foundation, other donors, and more than 200 member institutions.

New among the membership benefits that all institutions receive, is access to a personalized digital dashboard, containing an overview of the articles their researchers have posted on the platform. This is the first time submission data by institution — including subject category breakdown – has been offered to arXiv members.

To provide this information, arXiv is partnering with Scopus to optimize that publication data and increase institution’s visibility of their researcher contributions….”

Go from discovery to full-text access on Scopus! New full-text options available now | Elsevier Scopus Blog

“Scopus aims to provide the most streamlined path from discovery to access, to enable you to find and make use of full-text version of the research content you are looking for. Wherever possible, we aim to link to the version of record (VOR), also known as the final published version. When this is not possible, we now provide access to the repository/Green Open Access (Green OA) version, when available. Learn more about our updated full-text options are now available on the Scopus Document Details page.”

Journals In Beall’s List Perform as a Group Less Well Than Other Open Access Journals Indexed In Scopus But Reveal Large Differences Among Publishers

The list of potential, possible or probable predatory scholarly open access (OA) publishers compiled by Jeffrey Beall was examined to determine the effect of their inclusion upon authors, and a possible bias against OA journals. Manually collected data from the publication archives of a sample of 250 journals from Beall publishers reveals a strong tendency towards a decline in their article output during 2012–2020. A comparison of the subset of 506 Beall journals indexed in Scopus with a benchmark set of other OA journals in Scopus with similar characteristics shows that Beall journals reveal as a group a strong decline in citation impact over the years, and reached an impact level far below that of their benchmarks. The Beall list of publishers was found to be heterogeneous in terms of bibliometric indicators but to be clearly differentiated from OA journals not included in the list. The same bibliometric comparison against comparable non-OA journals reveal similar, but less marked, differences in citation and publication growth.

Elsevier’s Scopus expands to include SSRN preprints

“Elsevier, a global leader in research publishing and information analytics, today announces that preprints from SSRN, its world-leading early stage research and preprint platform, are now available through Scopus, Elsevier’s abstract and citation database. This follows preprints from arXiv, ChemRxiv, bioRxiv and medRxiv being indexed in Scopus earlier this year.

This development comes in reaction to feedback and requests from the researcher community, as demand for and use of preprints has jumped in recent years. At present, over 1 million Author Profiles in Scopus have 900,000 preprints indexed to them dating back to 2017. By the end of this year, approximately 170,000 SSRN preprints, from 2017 onwards will be included in Scopus….”

Google Scholar, Web of Science, and Scopus: Which is best for me? | Impact of Social Sciences

“Being able to find, assess and place new research within a field of knowledge, is integral to any research project. For social scientists this process is increasingly likely to take place on Google Scholar, closely followed by traditional scholarly databases. In this post, Alberto Martín-Martín, Enrique Orduna-Malea , Mike Thelwall, Emilio Delgado-López-Cózar, analyse the relative coverage of the three main research databases, Google Scholar, Web of Science and Scopus, finding significant divergences in the social sciences and humanities and suggest that researchers face a trade-off when using different databases: between more comprehensive, but disorderly systems and orderly, but limited systems….”

The journal coverage of Web of Science, Scopus and Dimensions: A comparative analysis | SpringerLink

Abstract:  Traditionally, Web of Science and Scopus have been the two most widely used databases for bibliometric analyses. However, during the last few years some new scholarly databases, such as Dimensions, have come up. Several previous studies have compared different databases, either through a direct comparison of article coverage or by comparing the citations across the databases. This article aims to present a comparative analysis of the journal coverage of the three databases (Web of Science, Scopus and Dimensions), with the objective to describe, understand and visualize the differences in them. The most recent master journal lists of the three databases is used for analysis. The results indicate that the databases have significantly different journal coverage, with the Web of Science being most selective and Dimensions being the most exhaustive. About 99.11% and 96.61% of the journals indexed in Web of Science are also indexed in Scopus and Dimensions, respectively. Scopus has 96.42% of its indexed journals also covered by Dimensions. Dimensions database has the most exhaustive journal coverage, with 82.22% more journals than Web of Science and 48.17% more journals than Scopus. This article also analysed the research outputs for 20 selected countries for the 2010–2018 period, as indexed in the three databases, and identified database-induced variations in research output volume, rank, global share and subject area composition for different countries. It is found that there are clearly visible variations in the research output from different countries in the three databases, along with differential coverage of different subject areas by the three databases. The analytical study provides an informative and practically useful picture of the journal coverage of Web of Science, Scopus and Dimensions databases.


Hungary and Elsevier agree pilot national license for research access and Open Access publishing

“Hungarian Electronic Information Service National Programme (EISZ) and Elsevier, a global information analytics business specializing in science and health, today agreed a new pilot license for research access and Open Access publishing in Hungary.

The three-year agreement means researchers affiliated to EISZ consortium member institutions across Hungary have access to 16 million publications from over 2,500 journals published by Elsevier and its society partners on ScienceDirect, Elsevier’s leading platform of peer-reviewed scholarly literature. The agreement also facilitates a cost-neutral transition to Open Access and enables Hungarian researchers from EISZ affiliated institutions to publish their research Open Access without researchers having to pay an APC. More information on the Open Access Pilot can be found here….”

Mapping the Scholarly Literature Found in Scopus on “Research Data Management”: A Bibliometric and Data Visualization Approach

Abstract:  INTRODUCTION Since the 2000s, interest in research data management (RDM) has grown considerably. As a result, a large body of literature has discussed a broad variety of aspects related to data management. But, few studies have examined and also interpreted from visual perception the intellectual structure and progressive development of the existing literature on RDM. METHODS Guided by five research questions, this study employed bibliometric techniques and a visualization tool (CiteSpace) to identify and analyze the patterns of the scholarly publications about RDM. RESULTS Through CiteSpace’s modeling and computing, the knowledge (or network) structures, significant studies, notable topics, and development trends in the literature of RDM were revealed. DISCUSSION The majority of the literature pertinent to RDM was published after 2002. Major research clusters within this interdisciplinary field include “scientific collaboration,” “research support service,” and “data literacy,” while the “scientific collaboration” research cluster was the most active. Topics such as “digital curation” and “information processing” appeared most frequently in the RDM literature. Additionally, there was a sharp increase in several specific topics, such as “digital library,” “big data,” and “data sharing.” CONCLUSION By looking into the “profile” of the literature on RDM, in terms of knowledge structure, evolving trends, and important topics in the domain, this work will add new information to current discussions about RDM, new service development, and future research focuses in this area.