Scientific valorisation: Getting the most out of your research

Guillaume Lobet

This document was created for the Let's talk science 2015 event. All documents, including the presentation I made for the plenary session are available in the Github repo

Outline of the workshop

  1. Present your research topic

  2. Scientometrics

    • Introduction
    • Group discussions
      • In your field, what do you know about:
        • the journal impact factors
        • the researchers h-index
      • What are the limitation(s) of
        • impact factor
        • h-index
        • altmetrics
    • Sharing and discussions
  3. Publish everything

    • Group discussions
      • List scientific output in your fields
      • How can you valorise this production?
      • What do you already do?
    • Sharing
    • Tools presentations
    • In practice
  4. Advertise yourself

    • Group discussion
      • Do you use social media in the workplace?
      • What are the use of social media for scientists?
    • Tools presentations



Scientometrics is the study of measuring and analysing science, technology and innovation. Major research issues include the measurement of impact, reference sets of articles to investigate the impact of journals and institutes, understanding of scientific citations, mapping scientific fields and the production of indicators for use in policy and management contexts

In a perfect world, every scientist would be judged based on the sole quality of his/her research. However, when applying for grants, promotions, etc, the work of the applicant needs to be evaluated by (partially) non-specialists. The evaluation committee will have dozen of applications to grade and no time for a proper quality assessment of the applicant's work. Indicators of quality and productivity are therefore needed. Many indicators exits. We will only discuss the principal onces. For more info about other indicators, see:

Journal level: Impact factor



The impact factor (IF) of an academic journal is a measure reflecting the average number of citations to recent articles published in that journal.

$$IF = {n_{citations} \over n_{papers}}$$

Journal impact factor distribution



Examples from the group

Researcher level: h-index


A scientist has index h if h of his/her n papers have at least h citations each, and the other (n − h) papers have no more than h citations each.

h-index computations



Article level: Altmetrics



altmetrics are non-traditional metrics proposed as an alternative to more traditional citation impact metrics, such as impact factor and h-index.

Tracks impact in social media and web 2.0 platforms, such as:

Screenshot of article presentation



Publish everything

Science is not just about publishing papers

As scientists, we have a lot of different skills, occupations or duties. Peer-review papers are only one way to valorise these.

The scientific pipeline


Acquiring datasets is a long and (sometime) expensive experience. Most of the time, you will not even use it at its maximal capacity. Sharing a dataset is a good way to valorise it further and enable additional analysis by the community.

Reading papers

The most basic scientific activity is reading paper. We all do it. We do it for ourself, to stay up to-date in our field, to learn about a new topic, etc. Sometimes, we even find flaws or mistakes in published papers. There is no reason we should not be able to share this reading experience...


Almost any analysis or plot required some level of coding. While some of it is trivial and easy to reproduce, some are more complex. Sometimes, we spend days on a specific analysis, a particular graph. Sharing this experience will help the people who want to reproduce what you have done.

If you are developing software tools, or algorithms, it is even more important to share your code. It is the foundation of your work, what you can get credit for.

Sharing your code is also perfect way to work in team, build new collaborations and keep track of your work (version tracking).


Peer-reviewing is one of the foundation of academic publishing. The whole publishing system is based on the voluntary contribution of the scientific community. In addition, proper reviewing take some time, especially for young researchers. As such, reviewing activities should be valorised.

Posters, presentations

Lab life

Writing a blog about your research is good for several reasons. It make you think about what you are doing and force you to structure your mind. It is also an excellent practice for writing paper. Quoting (from memory...) Tobias Baskin:

When you give a child a violin for the first time, you do not expect him to play well. The same goes for writing. Practicing is the key.

So, go ahead and blog about your lab!

Electronic notebooks

Open-science aficionados might take a step further than than the blog by making their lab notebook available to the world. This extreme step has been taken by several researchers already. It has the advantage to be fully transparent about your research.


The main advantage of pre-print is to make your work directly available to the scientific community, before the long process of reviewing is over. It can drive discussion about early manuscripts, making them better before the formal submission.

Before putting a pre-print of your article, do not forget to check the publishing policy of the target journal. Some do not accept to publish research that has been posted on a pre-print server.


As a scientist, you have a unique expertise in, at least, on domain. You can use to web to share it!

Advertise yourself

Two strategies:

  1. Remove everything about you on the web... (not possible, the web never forgets)
  2. Fill with useful information about you

On the different platform, be informative about yourself.

Get your identifier

Many scientists have homonyms, sometime in the same community. It is important to be able to distinguish them. Sometime, you also change name during your career. Both reason calls for a unique way to identify yourself in the research community.

ORCID ( is a service allowing researcher to claim a unique identifier. This identifier can be use in other services, such as publishers, online platforms, ...

Social networks

Facebook, but for scientists!

These networks can be used to connect with your colleagues, display your publications and access other's, interact with other scientists.

Personal website

A personal website will offer more flexibility in terms of design and content that the pre-defined online platforms. It can be just a set of links pointing to your different profiles. It definitively do not need to be complex to be efficient.


DISCLAIMER: I am an ImpactStory adviser since 2013.
That means I got three free t-shirts and free stickers.

Discover and share how your research is read, cited, tweeted, bookmarked, and more.

ImpactStory is a paid service (free to try) that gathers all your scientific production in one place and computed related altmetrics. These metrics are put into context (related to your fields, the platform, ...).

Update of your profile can be automated by connecting it to ORCID, Scopus, Twitter, ....


Once your profile is fully setup, you can export it to JSON, CSV or as a formatted markdown CV (


Twitter can be used in multiple ways in the scientific community. It can be used for:

Personal tips:

Tips from Anne Osterrieder[^1]

The networks' network

Maintaining profiles on multiple platforms can take a lot of time. Fortunately, most of the tools and platforms are interconnected. Use these interconnections to stay easily up to-date.

My choice would be:

  1. Google
  2. Twitter
  3. ORCID
  4. Google Scholar
  5. figshare
  6. Publons
  7. Github
  8. ImpactStory

Of course, any order is good :)

The networks' network

Further reading

[^1]: Osterrieder, A. (2013). The value and use of social media as communication tool in the plant sciences. Plant Methods, 9(26), 26.

Graphical summary

Very nice graphical summary of my presentation by @Koen_VdE. High resolution version can be downloaded here:

The networks' network