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Deep-sea microbe sheds light on primordial evolutionary milestone

A microorganism scooped up in deep-sea mud off Japan's coast has helped scientists unlock the mystery of one of the watershed evolutionary events for life on Earth: the transition from the simple cells that first colonized the planet to complex cellular life - fungi, plants and animals including people. Read full story

Wed, 15 Jan 2020 16:03:46 -0500

Brain freeze: Russian firm offers path to immortality for a fee

When Alexei Voronenkov's 70-year-old mother passed away, he paid to have her brain frozen and stored in the hope breakthroughs in science will one day be able to bring her back to life. Read full story

Wed, 15 Jan 2020 08:40:25 -0500

U.S. flood risk model to be publicly available in boon for homebuyers

A climate research organization will offer access to a risk model that predicts the probability of flooding for homes across the United States, giving the public a look at the data institutional investors use to gauge risk.  Read full story

Tue, 14 Jan 2020 15:28:35 -0500

Fly me to the moon: Japanese billionaire Maezawa seeks girlfriend for SpaceX voyage

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa's search for a girlfriend to join him on a voyage around the moon will be the subject of a new documentary program, in the latest attention-grabbing stunt by the entrepreneur. Read full story

Tue, 14 Jan 2020 07:37:14 -0500

Oldest stuff on Earth found inside meteorite that hit Australia

A meteorite that crashed into rural southeastern Australia in a fireball in 1969 contained the oldest material ever found on Earth, stardust that predated the formation of our solar system by billions of years, scientists said on Monday. Read full story

Mon, 13 Jan 2020 16:27:13 -0500

Chinese woman with mystery virus quarantined in Thailand

A Chinese woman has been quarantined in Thailand with a mystery strain of coronavirus, authorities said on Monday, the first time it has been detected outside China. Read full story

Mon, 13 Jan 2020 08:15:49 -0500

China launches gigantic telescope in hunt for life beyond earth

China on Saturday officially opened operations of the world's largest radio telescope, which it will use for space research and help in the hunt for extraterrestrial life, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Read full story

Sat, 11 Jan 2020 05:13:55 -0500

Blackstone raises three-quarters of targeted $4.6 billion life sciences fund

U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group Inc has secured $3.4 billion from investors for its first fund dedicated to investments in the life sciences sector, targeting $4.6 billion in total, a regulatory filing showed on Thursday. Read full story

Thu, 09 Jan 2020 18:19:28 -0500

Feces-smeared fakes: Scientists use rubber hands in OCD therapy

A new type of therapy using feces and fake rubber hands may be able to help patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) overcome their fears of touching contaminated surfaces, according to new research. Read full story

Thu, 09 Jan 2020 01:38:06 -0500

NASA, Boeing probe software glitch that stopped astronaut capsule from reaching space station

NASA is opening an independent investigation with Boeing over a software glitch that prevented its unmanned astronaut capsule from reaching the International Space Station in December, the agency said on Tuesday. Read full story

Tue, 07 Jan 2020 18:31:32 -0500

Lidar laser-sensing technology: from self-driving cars to dance contests

Self-driving cars employ lidar, a remote sensing technology using pulsed laser light the way radar uses radio waves, and lidar makers waiting for the automotive market to take off are courting new customers who would use the technology for everything from monitoring cattle to helping a disc jockey synchronize dance music. Read full story

Tue, 07 Jan 2020 18:28:44 -0500

No eyes? No problem. Marine creature expands boundaries of vision

A cousin of the starfish that resides in the coral reefs of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico lacks eyes, but can still see, according to scientists who studied this creature that expands the boundaries of the sense of sight in the animal kingdom. Read full story

Thu, 02 Jan 2020 18:07:33 -0500

Israel Aerospace to build Israel's next communication satellite

State-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) [ISRAI.UL] said on Thursday it signed with the Israeli government to build the country's next communication satellite. Read full story

Thu, 02 Jan 2020 11:55:39 -0500

India approves third moon mission, months after landing failure

India has approved its third lunar mission months after its last one failed to successfully land on the moon, its space agency said on Wednesday, the latest effort in its ambitions to become a low-cost space power. Read full story

Wed, 01 Jan 2020 06:24:27 -0500

China plans to issue biosafety certificates to domestic GM soybean, corn

China's agriculture ministry said on Monday it plans to issue biosafety certificates to a domestically grown, genetically modified (GM) soybean crop and two corn crops, in a move toward commercializing GM grain production in the world's top market. Read full story

Mon, 30 Dec 2019 08:03:49 -0500

NASA's Mars 2020 rover set to hunt Martian fossils, scout for manned missions

A NASA robotic rover is nearing completion ahead of a journey next year to search for evidence of past life on Mars and lay the groundwork for the space agency's mission to send humans into deep space.  Read full story

Fri, 27 Dec 2019 20:19:16 -0500

'Ring of fire' eclipse enthrals skywatchers in Middle East, Asia

Thousands of skywatchers gathered across parts of the Middle East and Asia on Thursday to glimpse the sun forming a ring of fire around the moon in a rare annular solar eclipse. Read full story

Thu, 26 Dec 2019 11:35:35 -0500

Egg-standing test goes viral as ring-of-fire eclipse crosses Asia

Can you make an egg stand on its narrow side during a solar eclipse? Read full story

Thu, 26 Dec 2019 06:45:04 -0500

A decade on earth captured from space

The biggest news events of the past decade have been chronicled from space. Read full story

Tue, 24 Dec 2019 01:27:08 -0500

'Bull's-eye' landing caps Boeing's faulty astronaut capsule test mission

Boeing Co's Starliner astronaut spacecraft made a "bull's-eye" landing in the New Mexico desert on Sunday, a successful ending to a crewless test mission that two days earlier failed to reach the orbit needed to dock with the International Space Station. Read full story

Mon, 23 Dec 2019 01:35:55 -0500

Impact factors and citation metrics

The adoption of the REF means that universities are under enormous pressure to produce publications, particularly peer-reviewed journal articles. A controversial aspect of the REF is the proposal to use metrics based on a ‘citation count’ as one means of measuring research performance.

A citation count is a measure of the number of times that books or articles published or co-published by the researcher have been cited in other academic papers. In general terms, the more publications a researcher or team has, the more likely they are to be cited in publications by their peers. The Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), now part of Thomson Reuters, publishes an online list of ‘Highly Cited Researchers’ - those whose publications were most often cited over the last decade. Inclusion in this list is taken as a measure of the esteem of these academics.

Citation metrics are the basis of another commonly used measure of prestige: the ‘Impact Factor’ of a journal. The impact factor is a number derived from the average number of citations gained by articles published in the journal. The ISI publishes impact factor data annually. Because articles in journals with a high impact factor tend to be cited more often than articles in journals with a lower impact factor, publication in a ‘high impact factor’ journal is often seen as an indication of the quality of the article.

Some academics maintain that citation metrics do not accurately reflect the importance of published research or the success of the authors or groups who publish the papers. In particular, as early career researchers tend to have relatively few publications to their name, their citation counts are lower than those of more established names. Researchers who develop widely used methodologies achieve large numbers of citations even though they may not be publishing original research. And those who write for the popular presses inevitably gain more citations than those who confine themselves to more specialist academic journals, regardless of the quality or originality of what they are publishing.

In many disciplines, it used to be common practice for research teams to publish large numbers of short articles (often described as ‘letters’) in specialist journals designed for rapid publication of new discoveries. Researchers were often able to use these journals to make an impact early on in their careers. The picture has changed, however, as impact factors have assumed a greater importance. Many of the ‘rapid publication’ journals are in specialist fields and as such their impact factors are relatively low. Some institutions now actively discourage publication in these journals, requiring researchers to ‘save up’ their results until they can be published as a major article in a high impact factor publication instead.

Whether or not these changes are beneficial to the academic community is open to debate. However, the reality appears to be that citation metrics are here to stay. Researchers need to bear these issues in mind when considering when and where to publish.

Impact Factor: 7.466
Provided by SJIF

ISSN 2277-8616
IJSTR - December 2019 - Volume 8 Issue 12