Reputation Mechanisms

Terms such as “Science 2.0”, “Digital science” and “Open science” encompass trends such as open access to scientific knowledge, citizen science and open peer evaluation systems: new formats for conducting, publishing and disseminating science and research. Started as grass-root initiatives, they have become embedded in the practice of scientific research, and could change how science and research systems function in the future. Thus conventional indicators may fall short in reflecting reputation and impact in the field of science.

David Nicholas, Eti Herman, Hamid R. Jamali Emerging reputation mechanisms for scholars European Commission Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (Report EUR 27174 EN) 2015 [doi:10.2791/891948] forms a part of the JRC-IPTS commissioned study "Analysis of emerging reputation mechanisms for scholars" focused on challenges to conventional ways of establishing and measuring scholarly reputation. It lays the conceptual framework for the analysis of the data gathered in the subsequent empirical, case-study phases of the investigation and presents:

  • A comprehensive literature review and audit of scholarly activities in the digital age and associated reputational mechanisms.
  • A state of the art mapping and evaluation of online platforms that offer ‘new’ reputational mechanisms for scholars.

Open Science

David Nicholas has joined the panel of experts for the EU funded Study on 'Open digital science' — SMART 2014/0007.

Learned Publishing

Dave Nicholas has been invited to join the editorial board of Learned Publishing, the journal of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers published in collaboration with the Society for Scholarly Publishing.

The current (January 2015) issue looks at predatory publishers, the cost of journals, library-supported publishing, and why abstracting and indexing services continue to exist. Discussions backed up with research and evidence about challenges and opportunities facing scholarly communication, including an article derived from CIBER's work on the Trust Project: Nicholas D, Watkinson A, Jamali HR et al. Peer review: still king in the digital age. Learned Publishing 2015; 28(1): 15-21.

Alive and well

CIBER's work on trust and peer review. has come to the attention of the British Journal of General Practice who note:

There was an interesting and surprisingly common misperception that open access journals do not have proper peer review systems. While this may be true for the so-called ‘predatory’ open access journals which have sprung up in recent years, it is generally untrue, and emphatically not the case for the BJGP, which applies the same peer review methodology to all research papers considered for publication.


CIBER have been awarded a consultancy contact by the ISSN International Centre to develop a business stragegy for the future of the ISSN, test by market research and prepare a business plan.

Driven by algorithms

"A metric-driven culture, which is standardising scholarly behaviour” is the theme of Monday's GHIG presentation from Dave Nicholas. He will cover strategies aimed at promoting a career and specialism, and building a reputation.

Typically associated with scholarly communication through journals, reputation building has become fixated on metrics such as citations and laterly, with social media, altmetrics. But how do we reconcile a reputation mechanism driven by algorithms with the building of trust and authority, surely the bedrock of science and scholarship?

GHIG in the sun

In addition to proficiency in research and teaching, academic success may increasingly depend on accomplishments in domains such as self-marketing, research administration and management, and acquiring research funding. The Graduate School of Human Interaction and Growth (GHIG), University of Bergen will be in Gran Canaria 24–31 January 2015 for a training program: “The many faces of academia – changing expectations for researchers”. Dave Nicholas will lead a session on Self-marketing and research communication.

Peer review

Researchers have made the trasition to digital media, but it has made little difference to their criteria for trust: peer review is still the most trustworthy characteristic of all. There is a common perception that open access means not a true peer reviewed journal, that social media is for personal interaction and peripheral to professional life.

David Nicholas, Anthony Watkinson, Hamid R. Jamali, Eti Herman, Carol Tenopir, Rachel Volentine, Suzie Allard, Kenneth Levine. 'Peer review: still king in the digital age'. Learned Publishing vol 28 nr 1 January 2015

citing and publishing

Researchers from the US and UK are negative towards the use of repositories and social media for publishing and sceptical about their potential for increasing usage or reaching a wider audience.

Hamid R. Jamali, David Nicholas, Anthony Watkinson, Eti Herman, Carol Tenopir, Kenneth Levine, Suzie Allard, Lisa Christian, Rachel Volentine, Reid Boehm, Frances Nichols. 'How scholars implement trust in their reading, citing and publishing activities: Geographical differences'. Library & Information Science Research 36 (2014)

CIBER news — September–December 2014

CIBER Research Ltd.

1 Westwood Farmhouse



RG14 7RU

tel: +44 (0)1635 42719

Office @