Category / Guidance

Prof. Sara Ashencaen Crabtree – My Publishing experience…

On Wednesday 28th June, the Writing Academy will be hosting a Lunchbyte session with Sara Ashencaen Crabtree. During the session Sara will talk about her personal publishing experience, her approaches to research and writing, her tips on developing a publication strategy, working with co-authors, reviewers and editors. She will talk about all types of publishing drawing on personal experience, focusing on international reach.

Aims:

  • Developing a Publication Strategy
  • Dealing with Co-Editors, Reviewers & Editors
  • International Reach

Click here to book on!

SciVal’s Field weighted citation impact: Sample size matters!

There’s been a buzz on social media recently about Field weighted Citation Impact (FWCI) particularly around the recent leak from the University of Manchester that the FWCI is one of the measures suggested by which to assess academics most at risk of redundancy:

In his recent blog on The Bibliomagician Blog  (reposted here with permission) Iain Rowlands a Research Information & Intelligence Specialist at King’s College London and a member of the LIS-Bibliometrics committee questions the stability of the FWCI indicator for sets of fewer than 10,000 documents. Ian invites others to use his methodology to further test his theory…

SciVal’s field-weighted citation impact (FWCI) is an article-level metric that takes the form of a simple ratio: actual citations to a given output divided by the expected rate for outputs of similar age, subject and publication type.  FWCI has the dual merits of simplicity and ease of interpretation: a value of 2 indicates that an output has achieved twice the expected impact relative to the world literature.  It is a really useful addition to the benchmarking toolkit.

The trouble is that, typically, the distribution of citations to outputs is highly skewed, with most outputs achieving minimal impact at one end and a small number of extreme statistical outliers at the other.  Applying the arithmetic mean to data distributed like this, as does FWCI, is not ideal because the outliers can exert a strong leveraging effect, “inflating” the average for the whole set.  This effect is likely to be more marked the smaller the sample size.

I explored this effect in a simple experiment.  I downloaded SciVal FWCI values for 52,118 King’s College London papers published up until 2014.  I then calculated mean FWCI and 95% confidence (or stability) intervals for the whole sample using the bootstrapping[1] feature in SPSS.  Then I took progressively smaller random samples (99%, 98%, and so on to 1%, then 0.1%), recalculating mean FWCI and stability intervals each time.

The findings shows how mean FWCI becomes less stable as sample size decreases.  Highly cited outliers are relatively uncommon, but their chance inclusion or exclusion makes a big difference, especially as the number of outputs decreases.  In this experiment, FWCI values range across four orders of magnitude, from 0.03 to 398.28.

FWCI chart_black

What does this mean for interpreting FWCI, especially when benchmarking? The table below offers some guidance.  It shows typical stability intervals around FWCI at different scales.  The final column assumes that SciVal spits out a value of 2.20 and shows how that figure should be interpreted in terms of its stability.

FWCI Table

It’s pretty clear from this analysis that you need to know when it’s time to stop when you are drilling down in SciVal!  Another implication is that there is no sensible justification for quoting FWCI to two let alone three decimal places of precision.  I’ve kept the second decimal place above simply for purposes of demonstration.

I am well aware that the guidance above is based on data from just one institution, and may not travel well. If you would like to replicate this experiment using your own data, I’m happy to share my SPSS Syntax file.  It automates the whole thing, so you just have to load and go off on a short holiday! Just drop me an email.

Ian Rowlands is a Research Information & Intelligence Specialist at King’s College London and a member of the LIS-Bibliometrics committee.

ian.rowlands@kcl.ac.uk

Academic Career Pathway to Research Funding – new pages

I posted last week a whizzy picture demonstrating the academic career pathway to research funding.  This has now been turned into new pages on the blog for each stage of an academics career in research.  The pages highlight the type of funding that you can aim for, what training and development is available to support this (through the RKEDF), and further resources that will support you in applying for external funding.  As well as the main summary page, there is a page for students, research fellows, senior research fellows, associate professors, and professors.

Have a look at what’s available through each stage of an academics career.  Links to these pages are also available in the Research Lifecycle – Your research strategy section and in the Research Toolkit.

If you have any queries about how to get started with your research strategy then please contact your RKEO Research Facilitator.

 

NIHR – mental health advisor required for panel

The NIHRs  Health Technology Assessment (HTA) programme is seeking to appoint a member of the Mental, Psychological and Occupational Health (MPOH) advisory panel, one of the five Topic Identification, Development and Evaluation (TIDE) panels. These panels advise on the research agenda for the HTA programme based on the needs of the NHS. This opportunity is for a commissioner with a mental health background.

The MPOH panel focuses on therapies relating to mental health and psychological disorders at all ages including diagnosis of mental illness or cognitive deficits and learning difficulty, as well as therapies used in any aspect of occupational health.

The term of office is four years starting in May 2017. Travel and expenses will be paid.

If you have any questions about this opportunity please contact Emma Catlin at emma.catlin@nihr.ac.uk.

You will find advice on how to apply in the specification document, as well as a link to the application form and optional equal opportunities form at the top of the advisory group opportunities page.

NERC Science Board – membership vacancies

NERC is inviting applications from across the NERC science remit to join its key scientific advisory board, the Science Board (SB). NERC is seeking to recruit for up to three vacancies, to commence appointment in October 2017. SB is the key source of advice to NERC Council on science related issues.

For further information about SB and what is required to be a member, please see the document below.

Member profile and attributes (PDF, 72KB)

Further information and details of how to apply are available at: http://www.nerc.ac.uk/about/organisation/boards/science/nomination/

The closing date for applications is noon on Friday 16 June 2017.

Interviews will be held in London on Tuesday 25 July 2017.

Academic Career Pathway to Research Funding

The Research and Knowledge Exchange Development Framework is a programme of training and development opportunities available to all members of staff regardless of what level they have attained in their academic career.  It provides several pathways of opportunity depending on what interests you.  We will soon be launching the 2017/18 programme in time for appraisals.

We’re often asked in RKEO what type of grant should someone apply for depending on their level of experience.   Our Research Facilitators are only too happy to advise and so do get in touch with them.  You may find the below illustration helpful in guiding you to the choices that are right for you (a larger version is available on MyBU).  Also, standard calls for proposals from major funders can be found here.

 

 

Alternative Career Pathways after your PhD – 8 June

Live online event on the 8th June 2017

The academic jobs market is becoming more challenging and competitive post-PhD. With the number of PhD holders increasing, there is enormous pressure on the academic job market and declining academic job prospects for doctoral graduates.

What can I do after my PhD? It is a difficult decision for any PhD student on whether to pursue a career in academia, or consider alternative careers. In our dedicated live Q&A we are bringing forth a panel of experts who have moved outside of academia, to share their top tips and advice on alternate career pathways following PhD studies.

To help all those who are considering options after doctoral studies, jobs.ac.uk is holding a FREE 60-minute live video event via a live YouTube Q&A called ‘Alternative Career Pathways After Your PhD’. Find out more and register today.

More details are at: http://bit.ly/altcareersevent

RCUK Pre-election rules – what they mean for researchers

The RCUK has issued a statement setting out the pre-election rules and what this means for research council funded researchers.  This includes press releases about your research, expert commentary on the election, presenting at conferences concerning the election, research council funded data about voting patterns and behaviour, and election related content on websites and social media.

Please read the statement for exact details, but basically, you can’t mention your research council source of funding (unless directly asked) if talking about anything connected with the election.

BRIAN Unavailable Today

BRIAN is being upgraded and will be unavailable for use on Tuesday 2nd and Wednesday 3rd May.

The main improvements from this upgrade include:

  • New Impact Tracking Module
  • New Homepage
  • More User Friendly Navigation

The new and improved features will make BRIAN easier and simplier to use for everyone, whilst also providing a valuable tool to academics helping them record the impact of their research

All relevant guidance notes and video guides on the Staff Intranet will be updated in due course. If you need any help using the new system or if you encounter any problems after the upgrade, please do send an email to BRIAN@bournemouth.ac.uk and a member of staff will be able to assist you.

BRIAN training sessions are also available:

  • Thursday 15th June 2017

With further dates planned. If you are interested to book on to any of these training sessions, please click here to book on!

In the meantime, if you do have queries relating to the upgrade, please get in touch with BRIAN@bournemouth.ac.uk

Research & Knowledge Exchange Development Framework – give us your feedback

It’s been over six months since Bournemouth University launched its new Research & Knowledge Exchange Development Framework, which was designed to offer academics at all stages of their career opportunities to develop their skills, knowledge and capabilities.

Since its launch, over 30 sessions have taken place, including sandpits designed to develop solutions to key research challenges, workshops with funders such as the British Academy and the Medical Research Council and skills sessions to help researchers engage with the media and policy makers.

The Research & Knowledge Exchange Office is currently planning activities and sessions for next year’s training programme and would like your feedback about what’s worked well, areas for improvement and suggestions for new training sessions.

Tell us what you think via our survey and be in with a chance of winning a £30 Amazon voucher. The deadline date is Friday 21 April.

Upcoming sessions:

  4 April Public engagement: an overview
  13 April Getting started on applying for research funding
  25 April How to update your Staff Profile Page using BRIAN
  9 May Writing Academy – Writing Day
  10 May Using social media to share your research
  18 May Targeting high quality journals
  18 May Writing an academic paper
  18 May Writing a good abstract
  18 May Dealing with editors
  24 May Research Data Management
  24 May Introduction to the Royal Society
  24 May My publication story so far… Prof. Tim Rees
  25 May Writing Academy – Writing Day

Building international research partnerships

Trans-boundary and intercultural research in partnership is challenging. This is particularly the case when cooperation takes place between rich and poor countries. This guide is based on 11 principles and 7 key questions. They aim to build research partnerships in the most constructive, balanced and results-oriented manner.

The 11 principles address basic challenges and offer practical guidance. Applying these eleven principles should support the partners in building trust and assuming mutual responsibility.  The 7 key questions deal with issues that can hinder or facilitate meaningful cooperation in different contexts. They make it easier to understand the nature and context of the partnership.

RCUK Policy and Guidelines on the Governance of Good Research Conduct

The RCUK Policy and Guidelines on the Governance of Good Research Conduct aims to help researchers and research organisations to manage their research to the highest standards, and provides guidance on the reporting and investigation of unacceptable research conduct.

The guide has been updated from 1 April 2017.  The updates include the need to notify the relevant research council of an allegation of research misconduct at the stage that it is decided to undertake an informal inquiry; not, as previously, at the (later) stage of deciding to undertake a formal investigation.  Please see the link above for the full changes.

UKCDS – Making science work for development

The UK Collaborative on Development Sciences (UKCDS) is a group of 14 UK government departments and research funders working in international development.

A small coordinating team (the Secretariat) brings this group together with researchers and other key organisations to share knowledge and identify opportunities for collaboration.  By stimulating collaboration, UKCDS ensures the best science is funded and used to benefit international development, as well as the UK.

The UKCDS has a wealth of resources available to researchers.  The ‘Researcher Hub’ provides inspiration from world-leading scientists (including case studies) and the tools to use your skills and knowledge to help tackle the world’s greatest challenges.

The ‘Funding Hub’ allows you navigate the UK funding opportunities in global development research.  This includes a list of current calls.  The list contains some of the key large funding sources within the UK funded by either a single funder (DFID, Wellcome Trust) or a group of funders (Newton Fund, GCRF, Ross Fund). Each page provides an overview of the funding topic areas, countries they fund, eligibility for both UK and international researchers and key funding programmes.

All of the funding opportunities shown (apart from the Wellcome Trust) are part of the UK’s commitment to spend 0.7 % of the UK’s Gross National Income on Official Development Assistance (ODA). To be accepted as ODA, this funding must meet certain criteria. Please view the Newton Fund and Global Challenges research Fund (GCRF) ODA guidance for more information to help you decide if your work is applicable and questions to consider.

The Funding Hub also contains useful documents on how to find and build effective partnerships across countries, disciplines and sectors for global development research projects, and H2020 topics suitable for international cooperation.

You can subscribe to their mailing list here.

Research & Knowledge Development Framework – give us your feedback

It’s been over six months since Bournemouth University launched its new Research & Knowledge Exchange Development Framework, which was designed to offer academics at all stages of their career opportunities to develop their skills, knowledge and capabilities.

 

Since its launch, over 30 sessions have taken place, including sandpits designed to develop solutions to key research challenges, workshops with funders such as the British Academy and the Medical Research Council and skills sessions to help researchers engage with the media and policy makers.

 

The Research & Knowledge Exchange Office is currently planning activities and sessions for next year’s training programme and would like your feedback about what’s worked well, areas for improvement and suggestions for new training sessions.

 

Tell us what you think via our survey and be in with a chance of winning a £30 Amazon voucher. The deadline date is Friday 21 April.

Upcoming sessions:

  4 April Public engagement: an overview
  13 April Getting started on applying for research funding
  25 April How to update your Staff Profile Page using BRIAN
  9 May Writing Academy – Writing Day
  10 May Using social media to share your research
  18 May Targeting high quality journals
  18 May Writing an academic paper
  18 May Writing a good abstract
  18 May Dealing with editors
  24 May Research Data Management
  24 May Introduction to the Royal Society
  24 May My publication story so far… Prof. Tim Rees
  25 May Writing Academy – Writing Day

 

Need tips on developing a publication strategy?

Then come along to one of the Writing Academy’s “My publication story so far…” lunchbyte sessions.

The first of 2017, is happening today at midday led by Prof. Matthew Bennett.

Matthew Bennett will be talking about his personal publishing experience, his approaches to research and writing, his tips on developing a publication strategy and working with co-authors, reviewers and editors. He will talk about all types of publishing from journal articles, to books via edited compilations. Drawing on personal experience publishing in Nature, he will also focus on how you target high impact journals.

Click here to book on!

Future sessions:

Prof. Tim Rees – Wednesday 24th May, 12-1.30pm

Prof. Sara Ashencaen Crabtree – Wednesday 28th June, 12-1.30pm

Click here to book on!

Prof. Tim Rees – My publication story so far…

On Wednesday 24th May, the Writing Academy will be hosting a Lunchbyte session with Tim Rees. During the session Tim will talk about his personal publishing experience, his approaches to research and writing, his tips on developing a publication strategy and working with co-authors, reviewers and editors. He will talk about all types of publishing drawing on personal experience.

Aims:

  • Developing a Publication Strategy
  • Dealing with Co-Editors, Reviewers & Editors
  • Targeting high impact Journals

Click here to book on!

Dedicated Time and Space to Write…

As part of the Writing Academy, a series of writing days have been organised to help support BU authors work on their publications by providing some dedicated time and space, away from everyday distractions.

The days will have a collaborative focus on productive writing with other BU authors, the RKEO team will also be on hand to provide authors with help and guidance on all areas of the publication process.

Writing Days have been scheduled on the below dates:

  • Tuesday 9th May
  • Thursday 25th May
  • Friday 9th June
  • Monday 19th June
  • Tuesday 20th June
  • Wednesday 5th July
  • Thursday 27th July

Spaces are limited so please only book on if you are able to commit to attending for the whole day.

Click here to book on!

Prof. Matthew Bennett – My publication story so far…

writingOn Wednesday 29th March, the Writing Academy will be hosting a Lunchbyte session with Matthew Bennett. During the session Matthew will talk about his personal publishing experience, his approaches to research and writing, his tips on developing a publication strategy and working with co-authors, reviewers and editors. He will talk about all types of publishing from journal articles, to books via edited compilations. Drawing on personal experience, he will also focus on how you target high impact journals.

Aims:

  • Developing a Publication Strategy
  • Dealing with Co-Editors, Reviewers & Editors
  • Targeting high impact Journal

Click here to book on!