Evaluation based on scientific publishing: Institutional publication activity

The evaluation of institutional publication activity

The publishing activity of institutions can be assessed from many different perspectives. Databases have a number of different tools and features that help find answers from many very different perspectives. However, one must always keep in mind that the results a database gives you are always based on the content of that particular database, and a broad overview can only be achieved by using as many databases as possible.

In the Scopus database, it is possible to find several different descriptors of publishing activity and collaboration. In the picture, we have the publications produced by the staff of the University of Oulu that are available from the Scopus database. The picture shows us the publications according to subject areas and the institutional collaboration affiliations for those publications.
Image source: Scopus <www.scopus.com/> 3.8.2016


Institutional publishing activity in particular subject areas

When evaluating the publishing activity of institutions, the easiest way is to examine the institutional activity in a particular field. In practice, this means running a search with an operator that links the institution with the subject area. This kind of search is works in most databases.

In the example in the picture, a search has been run in the GeoRef database on publications related to environmental geology where the authors are affiliated with the University of Utrecht. When searching for affiliations in databases, there is usually a search field that says either Affiliation or Author Affiliation.
Image source: EBSCO <http://www.ebscohost.com/> 3.8.2016

In some databases, the records can be evaluated and organised in more elaborate ways, which means that institutions can easily be compared, also in a particular subject area, in terms of their publishing activity. Such features can be found, for example, in the Web of Science database. In the picture, a search has been conducted with the words molecular, cell and biology. The search produced 10850 search results. After this, the records that the search results produced have been analysed and organised with the Analyse Results tool, so that the affiliations of the writers that have published the most have been organised in to a ranking list. According to the analysis, researchers at the University of Harvard have produced the most articles in the database that can be found with these search words.
Image source: Web of Knowledge (Thomson Reuters) <http://www.isiknowledge.com/> 3.8.2016