RAL beats Cambridge University in rankings of citation impact
Friday 23 May 2008
ScienceWatch.com has surveyed top-cited U.K. institutions and researchers, based on their representation in a selection of high-impact research over the last five years.
In this study, Science Watch extracted from the Thomson Reuters' Essential Science IndicatorsSM database (link opens in a new window) reports published between 2003 and 2007 that rank among the top 1% most-cited for their given years of publication where authors were from the UK institutions which published 30 or more high impact papers in the period.
When institutions are ranked by citation impact, the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (link opens in a new window) is ranked 24th, while Cambridge University is ranked below it in 25th place. In proposals to replace the current university Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) with a more statistically based Research Excellence Framework (REF), measures such as this may have a greater impact on research funding in future.
Within the proposed REF there is scope for a range of measures of research performance including citation counts. Richard Durbin who was the most cited researcher in this report, as well as the top two institutions (The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the European Bioinformatics Institute) all received large numbers of citations for papers which covered resources and tools for collecting and analyzing biological data, including genomes and protein sequences.
Three of the top 20 authors in the individual impact rankings were co-authors of a report on the Pfam protein families database which has been cited over 1000 times in the 5 year period by users of the resource. These results show that one of the best ways to boost an individualâ€™s or an institutionâ€™s citation impact ranking is to publish a data resource and an accompanying paper which all users of the resource will cite.
STFC e-Science operate the ePubs digital repository (link opens in a new window), and the Diamond Data Portal among other digital repositories which can be used to host data resources and publications.
If research performance is assessed by citation counts it is clear that these repositories have a significant role in disseminating publications and data sets which can then be cited by other academics. If researchers are to perform well in the REF, then this report shows that the publication of data resources in these digital repositories is one of the best ways to attract citations.
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