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Strategic publishing

With the increasing interest in research evaluation, researchers are often told that they need to publish strategically. Here is some advice to consider before you publish.

How do I get an overview of my topic?

Discuss this with other, if possible, senior researchers. What publishing channels are available and how are they assessed within the research community? Are results usually published as articles, books or conference papers? What do evaluation panels within your subject usually rank the highest? In addition, consider that there are many changes occurring in scientific publishing, and the wisdoms of yesteryear may not apply today.

What is the best way to share and promote my research?

In addition to the publication channels and conferences in your subject, make use of research networks and social media to promote your research. Make sure that your publication is available in DiVA, which is indexed by, for example, Google Scholar. Publish your research Open Access in order to reach as many readers as possible. If other researchers in your field can find your publications, it increases the chance that they may use and cite your research results.

You also need to make sure that the information in the publications is correct, and don't forget to enter the university's name correctly: Södertörns högskola/Södertörn University.

Consider a ORCID ID,external link, opens in new window a unique identifier for researchers. With an ORCID ID, it becomes easier to manage your publications in different systems, for example, if you move to another university.

What matters in evaluations?

Try to publish internationally if possible. A journal in English or an international publisher increases the chance to be included in the basis for evaluations. To find which publication channels are included in the basis for research evaluation in Sweden, search in the "Norwegian list"external link and the journals indexed in the Web of Scienceexternal link. If you can't find your publication channel of choice, you may propose it to be included for evaluation. Before that you need to register.

Today, bibliometrics is commonly used in evaluations. In bibliometrics the performance of individual researchers and institutions is summarised in metrics, such as citation rates. The evaluations are usually based on a selection of publications, such as articles indexed in Web of Science.

Both Södertörn University and the Swedish Red Cross University College compile publication statistics in the universities' annual reports, which are based on what is registered in the publication database DiVA.

The use of bibliometrics in evaluations has correctly been criticised. In 2015, the Leiden manifesto was formulated, which lists 10 principles to follow in research evaluation. Inspired by the Leiden manifesto, the Swedish Metrics Group (Working Group in SUHF) has established the corresponding Swedish advice: Råd för utvärderande bibliometri i Sverige (Swedish only).

The Swedish Research Council also mentions in its report, Redovisning av regeringsuppdrag att utveckla uppföljning av svensk forskningexternal link (Swedish only) that the bibliometric databases commonly use, don't work for all disciplines. Humanities, parts of social and engineering sciences and artistic research are examples of disciplines that are published in a way, which can't be covered by the bibliometric databases.

Bibliometrics as a research field

In research on scientific information processes, quantitative methods are used for analysing publications. With bibliometrics, the origin and development of research areas can be studied. Studies of researchers' co-publishing from different universities or countries can contribute to identify research collaborations. Citation data is used to study research impact and visibility in the research community.


Altmetrics is presented as an alternative to the traditional bibliometrics, especially in terms of evaluation methods. Altmetric data includes, in addition to citation data, data on how publications are circulated on the web, for example in social media and Wikipedia. With the altmetrics, recent criticism has been directed against the fact that research evaluation with bibliometric methods usually uses publication channel data, for example, in calculations of a journal's Impact Factor.

Data sources used for bibliometric analyses

  • Web of Science
  • Scopus
  • DiVA
  • SwePub

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