Putting your editorial data into context

With initiatives such as Plan S focusing the attention of many publishers on Open Access publishing models, understanding your editorial data has never been more important. Here, we round up some of the sources available to help you get more from this data.

Identifying organisations
Viewing editorial activity at an organisational rather than an individual level makes it easier to see patterns in your data. But to do that, you need a reliable way of identifying organisations. A common solution within the publishing industry is the Ringgold Identify database, a comprehensive, well-maintained resource.

For those who don’t wish to use commercial services like Ringgold, GRID offer an open-source database of research organisations. It’s smaller and less regularly updated than Ringgold, but provides an excellent free alternative.

The ORCID Organization Identifier project aims to set up an identifier registry of organisations to which researchers are affiliated. They’re not there yet, but given their focus on keeping things free, open and independent, this is definitely one to watch.

Funder data
Crossref’s Funder Registry concentrates on organisations that supply funding. Because of its specific focus, it’s a much smaller dataset, but is nevertheless a useful supplement. For example, GRID often has a single record for an umbrella organisation and its component parts, whereas the Funder Registry will separate out any entity that can make its own financial decisions.

Citation data
The big names here are Clarivate (with their Journal Citation Reports, Web of Science and InCites products) and Scopus (an abstracts and citations database of peer-reviewed literature compiled by Elsevier). This is valuable information for assessing how your own journals are performing in comparison to those of other publishers.

If you’re looking for a free alternative, it’s also worth investigating Crossref’s Cited-By service (which allows publishers to retrieve citations to their own DOIs) and OpenCitations (an index of open DOI-to-DOI citations).

At the individual level, an ORCID registry is already available for researchers to register for their own personal ORCID ID, which can then be used to identify them in article submissions, funding applications, citations, and so on. This is an important way of being able to link up all this information for an overall picture of activity. The two most commonly used submissions systems, ScholarOne and Editorial Manager, both support the use of ORCID IDs.

Traditionally, journals have been judged based on citations and authors based on productivity and citations. Altmetrics offer alternative or supplementary value assessments, taking account of more modern developments such as discussions on social media, bookmarking of pages, and online recommendations.

Companies aggregating altmetric information include Altmetric and Plum Analytics (whose metrics have been incorporated into Scopus following their acquisition by Elsevier). Raw altmetric Event Data is also available free of charge from Crossref: at present, you need to build your own tools to use this, although they’re planning to provide a more comprehensive service in future.

Decisions on which resources to use will be guided by many factors (e.g. cost, quality, availability and ease of use). But one thing’s for sure: there’s huge potential to enrich insights into your own data by placing it in the context of third-party information.