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Illinois Tech Library Guides

Publishing Responsibly

Introduction

The goal of publishing is not simply to get published. Rather, as an academic author, your main goal is RECOGNITION: recognition of YOU as a researcher; recognition of YOUR RESEARCH findings; recognition of your department; and recognition of Illinois Tech as a leading research institution. Recognition is achieved by both exposure and credibility. The goal is to maximize both.

The best ways to gain recognition for your work are to:

  1. publish in reputable, trusted venues to lend credibility to your work.
  2. publish in venues that are easily searched by commonly used search tools to make your work easy for others to find.
  3. publish in open access venues to make your work easy for others to download and read.

Remember, if they can't download and read it, can't find it, or don't trust it, they're never going to cite it!

So How Is Recognition Measured?

Traditionally, recognition has been measured by some form of citation analysis. The most well-know of these are the researcher "h-index" and the journal "impact factor" now published by Clarviate but originally created by the Science Citation Index in the 1960s. The continued use of these has problems:

  1. They are closed, proprietary systems. Little is known about how the values are created.
  2. They were developed in a paper-dominated research publication environment and don't take into account all the new publishing venues made possible by the Internet.
  3. In the case of the impact factor, its original purpose was to help librarians weigh the values of subscribing to different journals when funding was available to cover only a single subscription. It was never intended to be used for other purposes.

The Declaration on Open Research Assessment (DORA)

In 2012, a group of scholarly journal publishers met at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology to address the shortcomings of existing assessment methods and to attempt to move research assessment into the digital age. The resulting document, the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment, or DORA, is the result of their work. As of early May 2020, DORA has been endorsed by 1,935 organizational signatories and 15,802 individuals. The DORA website, https://sfdora.org/, includes the full text of the original declaration along with information on best practices for implementation.