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China draws up tighter rules on human gene and embryo trials: Xinhua

China's top legislature will consider tougher rules on research involving human genes and embryos, the first such move since a Chinese scientist sparked controversy last year by announcing he had made the world's first "gene-edited" babies. Read full story

Sat, 20 Apr 2019 10:40:47 -0400

Back on Earth, China's Mars simulation base greets first visitors

About 100 excited Chinese teenagers completed a five-hour tour of a space colony against a desolate backdrop not unlike the desert planet of Tatooine, the home world of Luke Skywalker. Read full story

Thu, 18 Apr 2019 10:41:17 -0400

Out of a drawer and into your nightmares comes a vicious ancient beast

When Ohio University integrative biologist Nancy Stevens peered into a drawer in the wooden cabinets on the top floor of a Nairobi museum in 2010, she saw a chunk of rock containing massive teeth and knew she had come across something important. Read full story

Thu, 18 Apr 2019 07:10:48 -0400

Yale study revives cellular activity in pig brains hours after death

Yale University scientists have succeeded in restoring basic cellular activity in pigs' brains hours after their deaths in a finding that may one day lead to advances in treating human stroke and brain injuries, researchers reported on Wednesday. Read full story

Wed, 17 Apr 2019 21:31:13 -0400

On Saturn's moon Titan, plentiful lakeside views, but with liquid methane

Scientists on Monday provided the most comprehensive look to date at one of the solar system's most exotic features: prime lakeside property in the northern polar region of Saturn's moon Titan - if you like lakes made of stuff like liquid methane. Read full story

Tue, 16 Apr 2019 11:06:13 -0400

Israel plans new moonshot after maiden mission fails

The aerospace company behind Israel's failed first moonshot said on Saturday it would pursue a second mission with funds raised from private donors and the public. Read full story

Sat, 13 Apr 2019 13:59:36 -0400

'Seeing the unseeable': Scientists reveal first photo of black hole

Using a global network of telescopes to see "the unseeable," an international scientific team on Wednesday announced a milestone in astrophysics - the first-ever photo of a black hole - in an achievement that validated a pillar of science put forward by Albert Einstein more than a century ago. Read full story

Fri, 12 Apr 2019 15:05:24 -0400

Israeli spacecraft crashes onto moon after technical failures

Israeli spacecraft Beresheet crashed onto the moon on Thursday after a series of technical failures during its final descent, shattering hopes of a historic controlled landing on the lunar surface. Read full story

Fri, 12 Apr 2019 08:21:33 -0400

Elon Musk's SpaceX sends world's most powerful rocket on first commercial flight

The most powerful operational rocket in the world, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, launched its first commercial mission on Thursday from Florida in a key demonstration for billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk's space company in the race to grasp lucrative military launch contracts. Read full story

Fri, 12 Apr 2019 02:34:36 -0400

Oh, brother! NASA twins study shows how space changes the human body

An American astronaut experienced multiple biological changes in space but returned to normal - with some exceptions - after coming back to Earth, according to a study involving twin brothers that shed light on how space flight affects the human body.  Read full story

Thu, 11 Apr 2019 17:58:43 -0400

Israeli spacecraft Beresheet reaches moon but landing unsuccessful: support team

The Israeli spacecraft Beresheet reached the moon on Thursday but its planned controlled, or "soft", landing was unsuccessful, the support team said. Read full story

Thu, 11 Apr 2019 15:47:46 -0400

Virgin Galactic's first test passenger gets commercial astronaut wings

Virgin Galactic’s first test passenger received her commercial astronaut wings from the U.S. aviation regulator on Tuesday after flying on the company’s rocket plane to evaluate the customer experience in February. Read full story

Wed, 10 Apr 2019 15:57:05 -0400

Fossils of enigmatic extinct human species found on Philippine island

Thirteen fossil bones and teeth excavated in a cave in the Philippines represent an enigmatic previously unknown human species, probably small in stature and possessing an unexpected mix of archaic and modern traits, scientists said on Wednesday. Read full story

Wed, 10 Apr 2019 13:45:16 -0400

Scientists expected to release landmark image of black hole

An international scientific team is expected on Wednesday to unveil a landmark achievement in astrophysics - the first photo of a black hole - in a feat that will put to the test a pillar of science: Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity. Read full story

Wed, 10 Apr 2019 09:55:51 -0400

Iran still planning three satellite launches this year, despite ramped up U.S. pressure: minister

Iran said on Tuesday it would press ahead with the launch of three satellites into orbit this year despite a U.S. move to curb Tehran's ballistic missile program which Washington says has been advanced by the satellite activity. Read full story

Tue, 09 Apr 2019 12:36:22 -0400

In astrophysics milestone, first photo of black hole expected

Scientists are expected to unveil on Wednesday the first-ever photograph of a black hole, a breakthrough in astrophysics providing insight into celestial monsters with gravitational fields so intense no matter or light can escape. Read full story

Sat, 06 Apr 2019 07:02:58 -0400

Scientists solve mystery of pristine weapons of China's Terracotta Warriors

For decades, scientists have been perplexed by the marvelous preservation of bronze weapons associated with China's famed Terracotta Warriors, retaining shiny, almost pristine surfaces and sharp blades after being buried for more than two millennia. Read full story

Thu, 04 Apr 2019 23:38:08 -0400

Pentagon says India debris expected to burn up in atmosphere

The Pentagon said on Thursday that it stood by its assessment that debris from an Indian anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons test would eventually burn up in the atmosphere, even after NASA's administrator warned of the danger the debris posed. Read full story

Thu, 04 Apr 2019 18:36:43 -0400

Pilot-less air taxi takes off in Vienna demonstration flight

As carmakers push ahead with self-driving vehicles, an Austrian aerospace company and its Chinese partner showed off their pilot-less "flying taxi" for the first time in Europe on Thursday. Read full story

Thu, 04 Apr 2019 12:55:05 -0400

Ancient four-legged whale from Peru walked on land, swam in sea

Scientists have unearthed fossils in a coastal desert of southern Peru of a four-legged whale that thrived both in the sea and on land about 43 million years ago in a discovery that illuminates a pivotal stage in early cetacean evolution. Read full story

Thu, 04 Apr 2019 11:15:34 -0400

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: 3.023
Provided by SJIF

ISSN 2277-8616
IJSTR - Mar 2019 - Volume 8 Issue 3