I’ve been pondering the question, as part of my #Research Fellowship training and academic reputation development plan: If I was to concentrate my #reputation building into a subset of journals what might they be? I decided to think about what journals I cite from and what journals I am cited in. To do this I used the bibliometrics from the Web of Science database to analyse my papers. I then used the allied Journal Citations Reports database to explore more about these Journals and their subject categories. I’ve looked in detail at all those journals where there are two or more #citations (about 1/3-1/2 of the total)
Who do I cite?
I’ve charted the results by number of papers that I’ve cited. It is worth noting that over half of the references that I use in any one paper refer to non peer-reviewed sources of data, such as farm management costings books and #agricultural statistics.
What strikes me is that I have done two things: 1) drawn in a wide range of underpinning literature on the science of agriculture and the environment, 2) drawn in a lot of scientific literature that has to do with Operational Research and or agricultural/ environmental systems. This is a clue as to how I maybe working as a scientist.
Who cites me?
I’ve repeated the analysis and considered which journals are the source of citations to me.
Again there is a subset of dominant journals citing my work. Two of them; Agricultural Systems and Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment; are dominant in both. A noticeable change from the journals that I cite is the absence of Operational Research and the addition of engineering, production and technology amongst titles. This is again another clue about how I seem to be doing ‘science’.
Science consumer to science producer
To get a clear idea about how I map the science I consume into science consumed by others I decided to group all the Journal titles into their subject categories. Where a Journal was categorised over more than one category I split the paper counts equally. I then compared the two after normalising to 100% to bring both counts onto the same scale . Colour coding and shading helped pick out broad groups. This is all shown in this column chart.
The shift in subject categories is quite strong. I am very much an applied Mathematician and Operational Researcher as I consume its science, but don’t produce the science consumed by it. Overall I consume science from all three of my degrees: Agriculture, Applied Environmental Science, and Operational Research (see below). I combine that within a systems modelling framework and produce insights into agricultural and environmental systems that are of benefit to managers, engineers, technologists, applied [multidisciplinary] scientists, and fellow systems modellers and analysts.
This does seem a rational picture in hindsight, but much more telling given this hard data. It does lend support to the idea that the group that I have been part of provided a key service to Agricultural Engineering. I joined the group at the former Silsoe Research Institute (SRI); a Public Sector Research Organisation specialising in agricultural engineering and its offshoots.
I’ve a much clearer idea of how I work as a scientist and where I make my contribution: The impact and identification of better, newer, or greener on the decisions that shape agricultural and environmental systems.
The shortlist of journals that I should focus on are the ones that I am cited from and that I cite from. This set includes Agricultural Systems, Biosystems Engineers (formerly Journal of Agricultural Engineering Research), and Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment.
A tilt towards where my science is consumed makes sense so International Journal of #Life Cycle Assessment, Journal of Cleaner Production, Journal of Environmental Management are strong candidates.
I need to consider Journal remits and bibliometric impact factors to really establish a core set.
What could be a fun addition is to consider the subject mappings that includes in a middle column where I’ve published.