Science Intelligence and InfoPros

Little things about Scientitic Watch and Information Professionnals

Posts Tagged ‘Journal citations measures

Catchy (amusing) titles don’t help for article citations

leave a comment »

According a recent study, published in Research Trends.

The title of a paper acts as a gateway to its content. It’s the first thing potential readers of the paper see, before deciding to move on to the abstract or full text. As academic authors want to maximize the readership of their papers it is unsurprising that they usually take a lot of care in choosing an appropriate title. But what makes a title draw in citations? (…)

 Research Trends decided to conduct its own case study of scholarly papers published in Cell between 2006 and 2010, and their citations within the same window. (…)

Given that straightforwardly descriptive paper titles run the risk of being dull, some authors are tempted to spice them up with a touch of humour, which may be a pun, a play on words, or an amusing metaphor. (…)

In sum, the citation analysis of papers according to title characteristics is better at telling authors what to avoid than what to include. (…)

Our results, combined with others, suggest that a high-impact paper should be neither too short nor too long (somewhere between 30 and 40 characters appears to be the sweet spot for papers published in Cell).

It may also be advisable to avoid question marks and exclamation marks (though colons and commas do not seem to have a negative impact on subsequent citation). And even when you think you have a clever joke to work in to a title, it probably won’t help you gain citations.

Finally, while a catchy title can help get readers to look at your paper, it’s not going to turn a bad paper into a good one.

Huggett, Sarah.  Heading for success: or how not to title your paper. Research Trends, September 2011. Online:








Written by hbasset

September 28, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Open access journals: more downloads…

leave a comment »

… but not more citations.

Does free access to journal articles result in greater diffusion of scientific knowledge?” was the initial question of this study. 

It is shown that “articles placed in the open access condition received significantly more downloads and reached a broader audience within the first year, but were cited no more frequently, nor earlier, than subscription-access control articles within 3 years“.

Free access to scientific articles increases readership (as measured by article downloads) and reaches a broader audience (as measured by unique IP addresses) but has no effect on article citations within the first 3 years after publication. These results are consistent with earlier trial reports on the physiology literature and suggest that these claims are generalizable across the scientific, social sciences, and humanities literatures.

The increase in full-text downloads for open access articles during their first year after publication suggests that the primary benefit to the nonsubscriber community is in browsing, as opposed to printing or saving, which would have been indicated by a commensurate increase in PDF downloads. The decrease in abstract views suggests a reader preference for the full document when available.

 “There are many benefits to the free access of scientific information,” Davis maintained, “but a citation advantage doesn’t appear to be one of them.”

Philip M. Davis. Open access, readership, citations: a randomized controlled trial of scientific journal publishing. FASEB J.; doi:10.1096/fj.11-183988 ;

See also this review into EurekAlert

Paid access to journal articles not a significant barrier for scientists, 30th of March, 2011, Online at:

Written by hbasset

April 4, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Why Scopus has introduced SciMago JR and SNIP

with 2 comments

This paper introduces two journal metrics recently endorsed by Elsevier’s Scopus: SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) and Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP). SJR weights citations according to the status of the citing journal and aims to measure journal prestige rather than popularity.

It presents the main features of the two indicators, comparing them one with another, and with a journal impact measure similar to Thomson Reuters’ journal impact factor (JIF).

The journal impact factor, developed by Eugene Garfield as a tool to monitor the adequacy of coverage of the Science Citation Index, is probably the most widely used bibliometric indicator in the scientific, scholarly and publishing  community. However, its extensive use for purposes for which it was not designed has raised a series of criticisms, all aiming to adapt the measure to the new user needs

In January 2010, Scopus endorsed two such measures that had been developed by their partners and bibliometric experts SCImago Research Group, based in Spain (…), and the Centre for Science and  technology Studies (CWTS), based in Leiden, Netherlands, (…). The two metrics that were endorsed are SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) and Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP).

Compared to other main fields, life sciences and health sciences tend to reveal the highest SJR and RIP values. Compared to the basic, JIF-like RIP (raw impact per paper), SJR tends to make the differences between journals larger, and enhances the position of the most prestigious journals, especially – though not exclusively – in life and health sciences.

The fact that Scopus introduced these two complementary measures reflects the notion that journal performance is a multi-dimensional concept, and that there is no single ‘perfect’ indicator of journal performance.
Additional resources:

Lisa Colledge, Félix de Moya‐Anegón, Vicente Guerrero‐Bote, et al.  SJR and SNIP: two new journal metrics in Elsevier’s Scopus. Serials: The Journal for the Serials Community.Volume 23, Number 3 / November 2010. Pages: 215 – 221

Written by hbasset

December 19, 2010 at 10:15 am