23 Things: Open Access and Research Impact

Open Access

The past few Things have looked at ways of sharing research online. For anyone to be taken seriously though, it’s important to link to accredited and peer reviewed documents. This leads to the issue of Access. It’s a nightmare trying to get to an article or journal you want to read and finding you’d have to pay a hefty subscription fee. This is something I’m encountering now as I try and complete a literature review! Open Access means these documents are readily available for free to anyone. This has to be an incredibly valuable asset to the research community. Sharing knowledge and building on what others have done is the best way to further any work.

Unfortunately this isn’t adopted by all yet. I have yet to do much work of interest or publish anything (here’s hoping for in a couple of years!) but would definitely be willing to make my own work Open Access if possible. Issues of copyright, IP, confidentiality not withstanding…


Research Impact (Bibliometrics and Altmetrics)

Bibliometrics is the “statistical analysis of books, articles, or other publications”

Altmetrics, or alternative metrics, “are non-traditional metrics proposed as an alternative to more traditional citation impact metrics”

(Thanks Wikipedia!)

Both allow an assessment of the impact of a piece of research – how often has it been cited? How often is it shared? In today’s world, online access and the ability to post through social media and other research websites (Think Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, researchgate) have become popular ways of putting research out there. Not just publishing in traditional journals. These also provide a platform for making concise information about a topic available, with the opportunity to read further reports if the reader desires. I can only see these growing as a method for sharing and evaluating impact of research.


What is IMPACT in research??

To my mind, impact does not have to mean winning a nobel prize!! Impact can be as little as raising awareness of a certain topic and prompting discussion or more lasting like promoting further interest and research projects. The whole point of science and engineering is to investigate our world and provide information and solutions to better our society. Deep I know. Promoting a response and passion in other people is what makes research exciting.



Image by Lloyd W.A. Cosway https://500px.com/photo/61043384/porthleven-storm-february-2014-by-lloyd-w-a-cosway-devonshots-com-?ctx_page=1&from=user&user_id=132551


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