Tag Archives: Citations

Which Journals are best? Who do I cite? Who cites me? 2

Sankey Diagram

This Post follows on from http://www.OR4NR.interdisciplinary-science.net/2015/09/04/which-journals-are-best-who-do-i-cite-who-cites-me/

Citations I've made are on the left. The citations I've made are grouped into subjects. Engineering is in a darker shade. Citations to me are on the right. This shows how I transform science into science of use by stakeholders of agri-environmental systems
I’ve made are on the left. The citations I’ve made are grouped into subjects. Engineering is in a darker shade. Citations to me are on the right. This shows how I transform science into science of use by stakeholders of agri-environmental systems

This shows very clearly how I am an applied Operational Researcher. I draw in the science of my three degrees (, Applied Environmental Science) and produce science of use the the engineer, mangers, scientists and policy makers in the agri-environmental sectors. I get nearly no citations from and Journals.

I’ve used Google Developers tools to produce this and they are far better than anything that Excel can do, but it is still a lot of informations to convey. It is hard to control all the features, but it is easier than a bespoke hand drawn visual.

It is an alternative to the column chart, but is it any clearer?

From Consumer to consumed from
Comparing the science I consume with the place my science gets consumed showing a clear difference in subject categories with less Operational Research and more Engineering, Technology and Multi-disciplinarity.

To Do List: Sankey Diagram

Sankey diagram would be a very good way of mapping the connections between the types of science journals I cite from and the types of science journal where I get cited. It may make this diagram clearer

From Consumer to consumed from
Comparing the science I consume with the place my science gets consumed showing a clear difference in subject categories with less and more Engineering, Technology and Multi-disciplinarity.

That is originally posted in this blog post: http://www.OR4NR.interdisciplinary-science.net/2015/09/04/which-journals-are-best-who-do-i-cite-who-cites-me/. It would be good to do this for a Toastmasters Speech I am preparing that puts the proposal from my election as a Fellow of a Learned Society.

The hard part of Sankey diagrams is doing them as Excel is little use., but I have found one method on Google Developer… and a useful blog site





For the curious, they’re named after Captain Sankey, who created a diagram of steam engine efficiency that used arrows having widths proportional to heat loss.

A sankey diagram is a used to depict a flow from one set of values to another. The things being connected are called nodes and the connections are called links. Sankeys are best used when you want to show a many-to-many mapping between two domains (e.g., universities and majors) or multiple paths through a set of stages (for instance, Google Analytics uses sankeys to show how traffic flows from pages to other pages on your web site).

To my opinion, Sankey diagrams are underestimated, and should merit a greater attention. Sometimes they are a better choice than a pie or bar chart to visualize information.

Hi, my name is Phineas. With this blog I would like to share with you my fascination for Sankey diagrams. My goal is to present to you Sankey diagrams I find on the net, and discuss them. I am mainly focusing on the graphical aspect, layout, methodological issues or shortcomings of diagrams. I do not intend to discuss the scientific content or the data behind them. Neither the politics.

Do you have a Sankey diagram you wish to share? Have you seen an interesting Sankey diagram that should be presented here? Or do you have a great idea what Sankey diagrams can be used for?

Acknowledgement: The guys at ifu (e!Sankey) kindly ceded this domain to me. I asked them politely, if I can use it for a blog on Sankey diagrams, and they said ‘yes’. They reserve the right to put up a banner here, but so far this hasn’t happened.

I am using Sankey Helper 2.1, STAN 1.1 and e!Sankey 3.0pro for drawing my Sankey diagrams. I have used test or demo versions of most of the Sankey diagram software tools available, like S.DRAW, or Sankey 3.1. Although I do find some tools better than others, I don’t intend to endorse any of them.


Now done using Google Developers tools.

Citations I've made are on the left. The citations I've made are grouped into subjects. Engineering is in a darker shade. Citations to me are on the right. This shows how I transform science into science of use by stakeholders of agri-environmental systems
I’ve made are on the left (Web of Sciences Journal categories). The citations I’ve made are then grouped into subjects. Engineering is in a darker shade. Citations to me are on the right, again by Journal category. This shows how I transform science into science of use by stakeholders of agri-environmental systems, such as engineers.

The live interactive version is here: http://www.OR4NR.interdisciplinary-science.net/2015/09/12/what-journals-do-i-cite-and-which-journals-cite-me/

Which Journals are best? Who do I cite? Who cites me?

I’ve been pondering the question, as part of my training and academic reputation development plan: If I was to concentrate my 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 (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 statistics.

Who I cite
The journals and number of papers that I have cited from. A few journals dominate with quite a long tail. Amongst the titles there are words like systems, , , environment, & ecology.

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.

The journal that are the source of citation to me
The journals and the numbers of papers citing me showing a few dominant journals, a long tail and the words management, systems, engineering, technology, and production  featuring amongst titles

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.

From Consumer to consumed from
Comparing the science I consume with where my science gets consumed showing a clear difference in subject categories with less Operational Research and more engineering, technology and multi-disciplinarity.

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.

My three educational degrees
My educational background showing my three degree of Agriculture, Applied Environmental Science, and Operational Research

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 , 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.


Research Fellow Training: Publishing papers 28/08/2015

Fab training course. It is doing me the power of good to have a refresher, but also from this Professor. He is essentially a self made man who has dug deep to find very human answers in himself to push forward.

I am so glad that this paper writing course was not another re-hash of the hypothesis centred paper approach. This course gave you the behind the scenes approach to getting it done, giving strategic tips to write of any kind! Most of my work hinges on systems modelling. I’ve never seen a hypothesis formally stated in the literature that I read or even really figured out if it is implied. As a result I’ve mostly struggled and failed to operationalise earlier learning.

Part 1: Why publish and where?

  • I like the idea of focussing on a set of and consistent keywords to develop your .
  • I like the idea of a set of journal at impact factor 4+ to aim the best stuff at. A set at around 2 to fall back on and a final set of <1 further fall back on provided that have good readership. This is a better way to build a directed reputation than the more scatter gun approach.
  • I think for me I need to slant my outputs not at but more at Agri-environmental engineering, policy and . [Note to self if possible analyse my and peers for journal coverage]
  • Your quality bar on your papers defines your intellectual reputation (more than any other lever).

How to produce papers?

  • Guides to papers are like diets -develop the one that works for you!
  • I really like this killer idea. Separate the intellectual heavy lifting into a phase that takes time from the physical drafting and of the manuscript. Trying to think as you write means that you have to repeatedly return to the time consuming heavy lifting to move the paper on the next notch before you are yet again diverted to the more pressing aspects of the day job.
    • Intellectual phase
      • Define the message -one sentence
      • Define the structure
      • Determine the key information to include in then paper
      • Define the information needs in the introduction
    • Deliver
      • Write drafts
  • Plan of attack (Key to intellectual contribution -get balance of paper right)
    • Results
    • Discussion
    • Conclusions
    • Methods (& Materials)
    • Introduction
    • Abstract
    • Title
    • Keywords, Acknowledgements, References
  • F.O.C.U.S
  • The purpose of a paper is to be read and used [to communicate] (not to baffle, show off, prove hard work, to prove we are better). It is your sales pitch of your ideas and intellectual contribution.
    • “Do they see what you see, and understand what you understand? Is it easy and useful for them to read? What knowledge/ information do you want to leave them with?”
    • “If you cannot describe the message clearly and concisely you are not ready to write the paper”
  • The best structure is the simplest path for the story you want to tell. Clear redundant material off that path
  • Use a storyboard to organise the figures and tables into the story line you need for your message. What is missing? Are they needed at all? Use the storyboard as a research planning tool to target the graphs and thus work you need to do to support the story, but revise when a new story emerges. [Storyboard planning maybe very good for designing model runs for a paper if not building the model itself]
  • Allow time and have fun collaborating
  • Results: Describe, Compare, & Explain on each. Plant the hooks you will return to in the discussion. Be specific with comparisons and explanations never generic. Keep it to the points that add to your message
  • Key point: Do not start writing the papers until you have prepared the material. If the preps done then in half an hour snatch moments another bit can be written up.
  • Discussion: Bring out the main points first. Write a separate discussion to ensure you develop it well.
  • Materials and Method: the reader should be able to repeat your work. Include Quality assurance steps. Reference standard methods, describe what is different, but avoid referring to you own papers for basic details to help the paper stand on its own feet.
  • Introduction: What are the drivers of the work?, what is already known and done?, where are the gaps?, and what are we going to deliver?
  • Conclusions: Demonstrate delivery of the message, what is the point of the paper?, and each aim and objective should have a corresponding conclusion.
  • Title: This is the key hook. It is what people see first, if anything. Good titles are either short or contain colons and are brief, direct, and meaningful.
  • Abstract: Critical to further reading. Use 4 sentences: 1)The driver for the work, 2)The approach taken,  3)The key results, and 4)The main conclusion.
  • Visual/Audio-slide/video Abstracts: Important and no clear best practices
  • Keywords: Direct, meaningful, and consistent (Inconsistent keywords = lower citations as you become harder to find. Find a couple of key signature keywords and use them everywhere
  • Acknowledgements: funders, helpers and legal issues. Keep it brief
  • References: Follow the formatting instructions and check citation and reference list agree in both directions.
  • Basic rules: Keep to word limits, rules, and format guidelines. Do not flood journals -spread papers around if coming in a batch else be forced two rite one all singing paper. Don’t self plagiarise. If it is needed and it is published refer to it or come at it from another direction. If resubmitting post rejection to a new journal explain why and what you ave done to improve the article.
    • Have high standards of internal proof reading.
    • Handle referee comments constructively, properly, be timely.
    • Be a completer finisher!
  • Recieving criticism and rejection. Calm down and read and re read and re read the feedback until you feel more composed to respond positively. Keep at it as the light at the end of the tunnel never goes out.


The Plan

The   Development Plan (work in progress)

Reputation is social mental construct that lives a very real existence entirely outside of you. It is the other person’s perception of another person’s perception of you. Essentially, it is social proof of trust in you. It can be influenced, it can be destroyed, but it can’t be explicitly created. It is slow to grow and readily damaged.

Reputation can inspire those around and motivate you to reach great fulfillment of self. Reputation precedes you and can make people far away defend your name as well as being a great marketing asset.

1a) What area of research do you want to be recognized for?

I want to be best known for research into the impact of better, novelty, innovation, and change on farmers’ decisions and systems

Analysis of the peer-reviewed citations I give and I get supports this

and b) which specific aspects of that area are key to defining your contribution?

I model for a living. My two main contributions are:

  • 1) the development of predictive (or prescriptive) decision modelling of systems using optimizing techniques such as , and
  • 2) to fully grasp the environmental burdens of decisions I develop agricultural system model-based Life-Cycle Assessments (LCA). These are quantitative hard-systems engineering approaches.

2) Do you want to be known as a specialist or a generalist?

Operational researchers are interdisciplinary generalists. I am a relative specialist with my core competence at the interface of , decisions, and the environment. I can be flexible and already extend towards modelling connections out to waste water treatment and renewable energy systems

3) Which academics around the world do you admire and why?

In no real order I admire the following academics

Laura McLayLaura McLay (Punk Rock Operations Research Blog) I admire because I enjoy her accessible and witty insights into OR theory, practice and profession and I am impressed with her social media presence and strategy. Laura McLay is Professor of , ISyE dept at of Wisconsin-Madison
Ian FrommerIan Frommer (@or4green) came to my attention several years ago as a prolific blogger and tweeter of Operational research for Green. Ian Frommer is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy* in New London, CT with interests in energy and the environment. I admire Ian for bringing the area of and the Environment to greater prominence on social media
Professor Stafford BeerI first came to read Stafford Beer‘s works in the 1990s and gained many of my formative influences as an Operational Researcher. I liked that he was a good communicator, a conceptual thinker on management cybernetics, and a of bit left field character
Eric AudsleyEric Audsley I admire for his thought leadership in my field in the UK and Europe, for his stewardship of the same and for the numerous models and programs of his that I use. He has been my line manager and or project manager since October1996 at the former Silsoe Research institute
Andres WeintraubCarlos RomeroAndres Weintraub (left) a Professor in the department of industrial engineering in the University of Chile and Carlos Romero (right) a professor of economics at the Technical University of Madrid I first met at The Euro Summer School on Operational Research in Agriculture and management in 2009 in Lleida and Solsona, Spain. I admire both for their career long prestige and international stewardship of my field, best embodied as two of the four editors of The Handbook of Operations Research in Natural Resources 
Lluis PlaLluis Miguel Pla is a personal friend and coordinator of the Euro Working group on Operational Research in Agriculture and Forestry Management. I admire him for his stoical long standing stewardship of my field in Europe. He is an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Lleida, Spain
Richard DawkinsI admire Richard Dawkins fierce integrity in challenging society’s preciously held eternal truths and his broad spectrum skills at communication of science via many different media
Lluis PlaChristopher Ryan, PhD really impressed me by having an idea that changes the way we can see the world. I was impressed that he wrote it up as a New York Times bestseller and presented it a TED conference. His academic and communication skills are impressive and as is his fearlessness in confronting taboos, norms and beliefs with science.
Brian Camm, David Morris, and Bill Dilke from Seale Hayne College and Paul Webster and Nigel Williams from Wye College all helped inspire and teach me quantitative approaches to farm planning and control. A big shout out goes to Professor Jim France and Dr Les Compton for their stewardship of Agricultural Research Modellers Group

What are my take outs for top role model traits: Thought & opinion leadership, stewardship, communication skills, advocacy, perseverance, honesty, integrity, & trustworthiness.

What doesn’t take prominence: I know nothing of their private wealth nor if they wield political power. I am more aware of their intellectual achievements, but I can’t often say that they are directly useful to me. The later point is a bit like Antarctica…it feels good to know it exists, but I’ve never been there.

What matters here is that reputation is a natural outgrowth of one’s self and one that is easily damaged if you are caught faking it. Trust is fragile and social proof of trust can turn against you.

4) What key activities do you want to do that define who you want to be?

  • a) Research: Applied agricultural systems decision modelling
  • b) Communication: Written, oral and digital channels to peers, clients, industry & public
  • c) Leadership: Contribute ideas and coordinate networks
  • d (a) Educator & Trainer
  • d (b) Life long learner

5) What is your publication strategy?

Journal Reason? Number of papers to date? Number of papers you want?
1? Journal of the Operational Research Society 0.91 2013/2014 journal impact factor – Kudos and contribution to my profession 1  7.5%
2? European Journal of Operational Research 1.8 Kudos and contribution to my profession  17.5%
3? Biosystems Engineering 1.4 Kudos and contribution to my profession  1  25%
4? Agricultural Systems  2.5 Kudos and contribution to my profession  1 planned  10%
5? International Journal of  3.1 Contribution to profession/ area of application  1  15%
6? Journal of Environmental Management  3.2 Contribution to area of application  10%
7? Journal of Cleaner Production  3.6 Contribution to area of application  7.5%
8? Climatic Change  4.6 Contribution to area of application  1  7.5%

Other contenders Environmental Science and Policy (3.5), Bioresource Technology (5.0 -1 paper), Journal of Applied Ecology (4.8 -1 paper)

See also an analysis of the journals I cite and get cited by

6) Which key conferences best reflect your professional development?

  • a? Agricultural stream of the EURO conference
  • b? LCA Food conferences
  • c? MACSUR climate change and food security conferences and workshops

6b) What is you (academic) networking strategy?

7) What strategic grants will you bid in the next 5 years to help define who you want to be?

  • a Defra
  • b EU
  • c Technology Strategy Board

8) What items of esteem/ activity do you value?

9) What items of esteem/ activity do you NOT value?

None of these are bad per se, but one needs to carefully balance costs with benefits.

  • Excessive membership of Professional societies
  • Excessive refereeing of papers and grant proposals
  • Onerous conference/ session organization

10) What is your dissemination strategy?

The outcomes of my work tend to best inform the thinking of scientists, engineers, the policy community, and the more progressive innovative section of the farming community.  The dissemination ‘ecosystem’ is in a state of flux with the advent of open access journals and digital & social media bringing everything to within a Google mouse click. The trend maybe away from print to digital, but face to face is important. Being out there is good, being found above the white noise is better.

a) Peer-review papers

Increasingly there are opportunities to create multiple media hooks to help increase the impact of research. These can be in the form of graphical and  video abstracts. A bellwether example might be the journal of Environmental Research Letters

b) Trade Press

The are a few learned targeted at farmers

c) Social Media
I use Academia.edu and ResearchGate.net to make preprints available. I have a blog to post a more narrative discussion. I use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn to promote links back to my work. I do have a ResearcherID, Google Scholar, and an OrcidID to further increase exposure. For supplementary material I can use slideshare, Youtube, & Prezi.com.

My Social Media Klout score is in the 45-55 range

d) Influential opinion formers?

Bonus Question) Is your plan appropriately aligned with the University’s 415i plan?

Career evolution
Career evolution