Thomson Reuters adds citation maps to Web of Science

New citation map feature from Web of Science

A while ago Thomson Reuters heralded their new database Thomson Innovation. One of the strong points of their new platform are the visualization tools such as the citation maps. With these tools, users can quickly analyze patents cited as references by the focal-patent, as well as those that have since cited it. An article in R&D Magazine described the tool in more detail.

This evening I found out that these citation maps have been introduced in Web of Science as well. Still in beta. But it is a nice spill over from the new Thomson Innovation platform. It allows you to browse from article to article. It is indeed visually very attractive. I have to play around with it a little more before I will fully comprehend the real advantages.

Another database that has these citation maps a little longer already is Highwire, but those I have never used seriously. See what we can learn from the comparison in the near.

Just noticed that the feature was announced in the June 2008 update of the “What’s New?” items. What I noticed there as well that you finally can use your browser back buttons on Web of Science. WoW! That’s what is called innovation.

Thomson Reuters issues a press release on the JCR 2007

It just popped up in my RSS feed on the second of July. The official press release from Thomson Reuters is dated July 1st, announcing the new edition of the Journal Citation Reports 2007. There is no further mention of the new journals included or excluded. There is a link to the official promotional website of JCR, which still states:

  • Covers more than 7,500 of the world’s most highly cited, peer-reviewed journals in approximately 200 disciplines
  • The Science Edition covers over 5,900 leading international science journals from the Thomson Reuters database
  • The Social Sciences Edition covers over 1,700 leading international social sciences journals from the Thomson Reuters database

It actually struck me today that the journals included in JCR are not listed at their Master Journal List.

Shall we call it progress that Thomson is confirming what I blogged about some two weeks ago?

Some musings on the JCR

Last year some of our researchers asked me what had happened to the Impact Factor of the journal Water Science and Technology. In the 2005 edition it was still included in the JCR and showed an showed an increasing trend in Impact Factor. Not the top of all journals, but a good player. After correspondence with ISI (Thomson Reuters Scientific) we found out that it was indeed excluded from the JCR because it lacked the desired quality. Later I understood from one of the editors that perhaps too many conference papers caused this problem. The editors changed the editorial policies and complied with ISI to upgrade the standards. After these improvements the journal was set for inclusion in 2007 again.

Indeed the journal has appeared again in the latest edition of the JCR. A shinning IF of 1.240 which is higher than ever. For 2006 the IF has been calculated and presented in the 2007 edition as well. A wee bit low, but it is important that there is a continous set of data. But what really amazes me is the fact that when you search in de 2006 edition of the JCR you still don’t find this journal. In the 2005 edition it is there again. It strikes me as odd. Still hanging on the old idea of a paper edition.

Another pain point of me with the JCR is the strange division between the Science edition and the Social Science edition of the JCR.Today I had to check for a set of journals their impact factors. Each time you have to guess wether the journal would be included in the Science edition or the Social Science edition.

I can imagine there is a sales argument to sell either smaller set to smaller institutions. But when you subscribe to the complete set, I can’t see any reason whatsoever why we have to live with this barrier in the database. It seems a relic from times long time gone.

JCR 2007 releases new impact factors

June is always the time to look out for the newest update of the Journal Citation Reports. Yesterday I checked and they weren’t there yet. Today the JCR was updated and included the 2007 figures.

You can leave it at that. We subscribe to this databases, and it has been updated. That’s all.

For the Journal Citation Reports which is updated only once a year that simple message will not suffice in my opinion. Only Thomson Reuters Scientific doesn’t appear to share my view. JCR is an important database. On the release of the latest figures, armies of researchers want to consult the database to see whether the journal on which editorial board they are has increased its Impact Factor. Or they use it to judge where to submit their next set of articles.

When the Essential Science Indicators are updated, once every two months. The event is accompanied with a slew of information from Thomson. When the even more popular database of JCR is updated we don’t receive any information whatsoever.

We have to find out ourselves that the coverage of journals has been expanded, growing from 6166 in the 2006 JCR Science edition to 6417 in the 2007 edition. For the JCR Social Science edition the number of journals covered increased with 97 journals to a total of 1865 journals. Which journals? We are left to guess for ourselves. Some Spanish journals they have worked out.

Thomson Reuters Scientific knows, but they haven’t told us (yet). Some journals have been dropped from the list. We only have to find out ourselves which ones. The increase in journals this year is only a prelude to the increase which we might expect next year since they have included some 700 new regional journals in Web of Science.

I might be mistaken, but at first sight there must be some interesting news worthy facts in the yearly update of JCR. Worthy of informing at least your subscribing librarians, who can on their turn inform their users. We want to inform our users on these events. We are more than willing to promote your products. Thomson, you can facilitate this work a whole lot better, but you should inform us a whole lot better than this.

Another expansion of journal coverage by Thomson

It was only at the beginning of April that Thomson announced their increased coverage of journals in the social sciences. I should have read the press announcement much more carefully since it clearly states “begins expansion of Web of Science” in the title. A few days ago they added yet another substantial -700- set of journals. This is likely to include those 162 journals announced in April. We don’t know for sure.

Digging a little further on the Thomson Scientific Website I notice they still mention “from approximately 8,500 of the most prestigious, high impact research journals in the world“. I thought WoS already covered some 9000 journals for quite some time already, but that is based on oral communication in presentations by Thomson staff. On checking the Journal Master Lists from Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Sciences Citation Index and the Arts & Humanities Citation Index and looking at the journal changes over the past 12 months I only count 177 journal changes over all three database parts. These journal changes also include name changes, dropped journals et cetera. We are still left in the dark on which journals have been added.

Dear Thomson Reuters Scientific executives, we want to go out into the faculties of our universities, the departments and laboratories and meet with researchers and tell them this exciting news. However we want to inform our users completely and we need therefore comprehensive lists of the journals that have been added. Is that really too much asked?

So, James Testa finally found his 500 journals.

Hattip: de Bibliotheker