a pat on the back?

ResearchGate is a social media website that imitates features familiar to users of inter-alia LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. Where ResearchGate really scores is that, like any social media platform, it locks members into real-time engagement, patting them on the back, reminding them, constantly refreshing their ratings, and enjoining them to improve their scores.

David Nicholas, David Clark, Eti Herman. ResearchGate: Reputation uncovered. Learned Publishing 17 June 2016. doi: 10.1002/leap.1035

Where does the money go?

Health Education England has commissioned CIBER Research to carry out an audit and review to improve improve the effect and value of library and knowledge services to the NHS. Where does the money come from, how much, and what service does it deliver?

the cachet of publication

What is astonishing is why measuring teaching reputation is still so difficult. Internal appraisals open a window onto individual modules or courses, but these are typically depersonalised and kept private, supposedly to spare teachers’ feelings. But why should this be, when there are many platforms that broadcast how good, or bad, a researcher you are? No reason, really. With increasing pressure from consumers and the media, and with the rising cost of higher education, the question of why you can find out so much about research reputations, but nothing about decades of teaching is becoming harder to ignore.

'Digital networks will transform how academics build reputations' Research Fortnight, 11 May 2016

Researcher Insight

CIBER and Elsevier are working together on a long-term project, which will see CIBER staff joining with Elsevier staff in order to generate top quality, peer reviewed journal articles from select research project conducted in partnership with Elsevier. It is envisaged that two projects will be covered per year, which will generate a number of articles, and that work would start with the Researcher Insight studies. As part of the programme CIBER will be working collaboratively to develop topics for research. The project will be led by Adrian Mulligan (Elsevier) and Professor Dave Nicholas (CIBER).

New ways to make a Reputation

Building on an analysis of emerging reputation mechanisms conducted for the European Commission, Reputation, David Nicholas' presentation on the second day of Academic Publishing in Europe (Berlin 19–20 January 2016) alerted publishers to the evolving context of publication and impact factor in the building of academic reputation online.

The main currency for the scholar is not power nor wealth, but reputation. However, reputation has been built upon one activity —research, one output —publication, and one measurement —citation. It is a narrow view of reputation that has, so far, served publishers well.
Reputation— New Ways of Building, Showcasing and Measuring Scholarly Reputation in the Digital Age Slides and Video (32 minutes)

time-honoured ways

  • Chinese researchers differ from their international colleagues in that they (a) depend more on abstracts, (b) take account more of impact factors, and (c) are more likely to be influenced by institutional directives.
  • There are few signs of a move towards Open Science/Web 2.0, with Chinese researchers wedded to the traditional system and time-honoured ways.

David Nicholas, Jie Xu, Lifang Xu, Jing Su, Anthony Watkinson. Chinese researchers, scholarly communication behaviour and trust. Learned Publishing 2016 [ doi: 10.1002/leap.1003]

Mobilité : une valeur d’avenir ?

David Nicholas has contributed to a review of library values for the French journal I2D

Pour que l’accès à l’information via des outils nomades, largement plébiscité aujourd’hui, ne signe l’arrêt de mort des bibliothèques, une étude cerne les usages mobiles de l’information.

Les services d’information au prisme de la valeur. I2D – Information, données & documents. Volume 52, N° 4, 22 décembre 2015

French, English

Read, Cite, and Publish

David Nicholas, Hamid R. Jamali, Anthony Watkinson, Eti Herman, Carol Tenopir, Rachel Volentine, Suzie Allard, Kenneth Levine. Do Younger Researchers Assess Trustworthiness Differently when Deciding what to Read and Cite and where to Publish? International Journal of Knowledge Content Development & Technology Vol.5, No.2, 45-63 (December, 2015)

A. Abrizah, Dave Nicholas, Niusha Zohoorian-Fooladi, Fathiah Badawi, Norliya Ahmad Kassim. Gauging the Quality and Trustworthiness in the Citation Practices of Malaysian Academic Researchers Invited paper presented at ICIML Lahore, November 2015

David Nicholas and Eti Herman. Assessing information needs in the age of the digital consumer Routledge. 2009 (ISBN 978-1-85743-487-3)

Discovery and Discoverability

Co-organised with CIBER Research, Discovery and Discoverability at Senate House on 20th January will focus on innovations in how publications and collections are being enhanced for discovery, how they are exposed to search engines and discovery tools, and disseminated through social media. The event is pitched at both the library and publishing communities and will address issues as varied as Linked Data in discoverer,, new library search systems and semantic enhancement. John Akeroyd, who chaired the Search and Discovery Track at the recent Internet Librarian International is coordinator and co-chair

a game of reputation & trust

The great weakness of reputational platforms is a lack of trustworthiness and being open to gaming. Yet, despite some reservations, researchers thought that such systems were here to stay and, especially for younger researchers, increasingly important in the future.

Hamid R Jamali, David Nicholas, Eti Herman. Scholarly reputation in the digital age and the role of emerging platforms and mechanisms. Research Evaluation 2015. doi: 10.1093/reseval/rvv032

Anthony Watkinson, David Nicholas, Clare Thornley, Eti Herman, Hamid R. Jamali, Rachel Volentine, Suzie Allard, Kenneth Levine, Carol Tenopir. Changes in the digital scholarly environment and issues of trust: An exploratory, qualitative analysis, Information Processing and Management (2015), doi: 10.1016/j.ipm.2015.10.002

CIBER news — September–December 2015

CIBER Research Ltd.

1 Westwood Farmhouse



RG14 7RU

tel: +44 (0)1635 42719

Office @