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Assessing subject and publication trends using SciVal

EVISE will introduce a range of new benefits for editors 

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In this special issue, we’ve touched on how Scopus can support your editorial role. Now we turn the spotlight on another powerful source of research insights - Elsevier’s new generation SciVal.

Using data from Scopus - the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature - SciVal offers quick, easy access to the research performance of 220 nations and 4,600 research institutions worldwide. Metrics can be combined to benchmark an institution’s or a country’s productivity, citation impact, collaboration (and more). They can also help researchers understand their position relative to that of their peers, as well as global and domestic standards.

Together with your publisher, you can now use this research intelligence tool to craft the future strategy of your journal and inform potential expansion of your network in emerging fields of research.

Figure 1: How SciVal can support you in your role.

With SciVal you can:

  • Analyze the growth, impact and trends of your specialty field. This can help to identify active institutions and authors, refine the aims and scope of your journal, or capture new special content (Special Issues and reviews).
  • Map a research field: what are the emerging competences of institutes and countries? Who are the rising stars in a particular topic?
  • Identify the need for new journals by combining various competences of countries and institutions to create new and multidisciplinary research areas.
  • Identify new potential collaborators, like board members and guest editors for hot topics.
  • Benchmark your journal against your research area, journals with a similar scope, institutions, or even countries of interest for your journal.

Journal of HydrologyExecutive Publisher for Water Management and Biological Resources, Dr. Christiane Barranguet, recently prepared a SciVal report for one of her editors, Laurent Charlet. Professor Charlet is co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Hydrology, which publishes original research papers and comprehensive reviews in all the subfields of the hydrological sciences.

Dr. Barranguet explained: “Hydrology is becoming more and more interdisciplinary and also more fragmented, hence its trends and developments have become more difficult to analyze. Nowadays, we see the traditional fields of hydrology (engineering, water geochemistry, soil science, geology and meteorology) integrated with such diverse disciplines as social sciences, economics, law, environmental sociology, psychology, epidemiology and behavioral science.

Figure 2: The journal categories publishing in water resources and hydrology. Source: SciVal.

“The United Nations has declared 2014 the year of water and energy, and with three universities in Grenoble, France, merging into one larger entity (the University Grenoble Alps), we wanted to discover the salient facts and figures for research integrating both water and energy: where research is being done, how impactful it is, and which collaborations between international institutes are the most beneficial - both in the whole world and in France.

“Using SciVal, we confirmed that ‘water and energy’ is a growing research field, but we also saw the directions in which this emerging field is developing (Figure 3). By analyzing the most frequent keywords, we discovered that the field of water and energy research has different expertise areas in the world, France and France’s Université Joseph Fourier (Grenoble-1) in particular.”

Figure 3: Number of scientific publications (2009-2013) within the research field of water-energy. Source: SciVal.

She added: “We also noticed that water-energy research conducted at Université Joseph Fourier was very impactful in terms of citations, both at a global level, and normalized for the field.” (Figure 4)

Figure 4: Citations for water-energy publications on research conducted at Université Joseph Fourier. Included is a comparison with France, Europe and the world. Source: SciVal.

Professor Charlet, who is Professor of Water Biogeochemistry at the Université Joseph Fourier (Grenoble-1), said: “One of the interesting outcomes from the research was that the intersection of energy and water does not identify people working in hydrology or engineering, which is what we were expecting. Instead, two of the key researchers highlighted work in fundamental chemical biology (and specifically on understanding hydrogenase enzymes), both of whom I know personally.” (Figure 5)

Figure 5: Researchers at Université Joseph Fourier active in the field of water-energy. Source: SciVal.

Dr. Barranguet and Professor Charlet were able to conclude that:

  • The water-energy nexus is a growing interdisciplinary research field
  • The most impactful papers are published in broad scope prestigious journals
  • Highly-cited topics include innovative technologies, resource and energy efficient techniques, reuse, and sustainability
  • Collaborative research is the most impactful, and academic–corporate collaborations are highly cited
  • Research on the water-energy nexus conducted in France and at the Université Joseph Fourier is significantly more impactful than the world average on this topic
  • Bibliometric tools and the analysis of impact can highlight potentially beneficial collaborations within the topic

According to Dr. Barranguet, the information SciVal provides can not only support you in your role as an editor, but in your work as an academic too.

She said: “You can’t be a good editor unless you have a good understanding of your community and are in fluid contact with it. In a world of complex transdisciplinarity, research intelligence analysis can enhance scientists’ understanding of their disciplines. By examining which particular competences are emerging in a research field, who is working on what topic, and what the most impactful collaborations are, an editor can better anticipate developments and adapt the journal strategy to meet them.”

Professor Charlet intends to use the SciVal data to develop future Special Issues and explore collaboration opportunities. The data discussed here will be presented during the 2015 Grenoble Interdisciplinary Days, more information about which will appear shortly on the homepage of Journal of Hydrology.

Contributor biographies

Professor Laurent CharletLaurent Charlet is Professor of Water Biogeochemistry at the Université Joseph Fourier (Grenoble-I). His research group belongs to the Earth Science Institute (ISTerre). He is holder of the CNRS (The National Center for Scientific Research) Silver Medal for Excellence in Research and is Chancellor International Research Advisor. The aim of his research is to develop general methods for understanding the reactivity of trace elements and nanoparticles present in nature, and also in the human body, as a means of predicting biogeochemical processes that are relevant to environmental quality, sustainability, paleoenvironment reconstruction and risk assessment. Recently he developed different collaborative projects on ‘medical geochemistry’ studying the effect of nanoparticles, metals & metalloids speciation on DNA double-strand breaks, whether non-repaired or mis-repaired, with respect to (nano)toxicity and carcinogenesis.

Dr. Christiane BarranguetDr. Christiane Barranguet, PhD, studied oceanography in Uruguay where she completed her MSc at the Universidad de la República. Subsequently, she was awarded a grant from the French Minister of Education and moved to Marseille, where she completed a DEA and a PhD in oceanography (1994). After graduation, Christiane worked at the two major institutes for marine research in The Netherlands (NIOO and NIOZ) as a postdoc, and later on at the University of Amsterdam, where besides her research work she mentored MSc, PhD and postdoctoral students. Dr. Barranguet has published over 30 scientific publications in international journals. In 2004, she left academia to manage the Aquatic Sciences portfolio at Elsevier as Publishing Editor, being promoted to Publisher in 2006. Presently, she occupies the position of Executive Publisher, shaping the publication policy of water research, comprising the top international scientific journals.

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