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Decolonising and diversifying academia: Interview with Nahil Nasr, the Community Engagement Manager at F.O.R.M.

This January, the Forum of Open Reseach MENA hosted its first community development activity of 2024. The “Decolonising Open Science Symposium: Dismantling Global Heirarchies of Knowledge” addressed the influence of western prominence on knowledge distribution and research, highlighting how these ideologies and standards impact the Arab region.

Within the landscape of research, conversations and collaborations not only address inequalities but also break barriers to accessibility. In this blog, we interviewed Nahil Nassar who is the community engagement manager at the Forum of Open Research MENA. At the symposium, Nahil touched on the work that open science has in building stronger foundations for diverse research consumption and the biases that exist in the research landscape. We take a deeper dive into this conversation. 

  1. How does F.O.R.M. facilitate conversations around decolonising academia?

FORM is a community based organisation that centers its attention on the Arab region. That means prioritising Arab voices in academia to develop a regionally and culturally relevant model of Open Science to implement across the board.

While we do, of course, work with organisations that are based in the Global North, we try to be transparent when it comes to power dynamics, and recognise that we are only as strong as our community. 

  1. What role does open science play in escalating research outside western europe?

Open Science has the potential to really build an even playing field for researchers in the Global South because of its financially and digitally accessible model. In its best form, Open Science should allow researchers from the Global South to publish their work without limitations in cost or geography.

The problem is that Open Science publishing is not always functioning in its most optimum form, and things like APCs, metric frameworks, and language hierarchies (English being a dominant language across the research landscape) can still limit researchers in the same ways that traditional academic publishing models do.

  1. What are some biases that exist in the open science landscape?

A major bias that comes out of the Open Science landscape, especially when it comes to the Global South, is that Open Science research is bad research. There’s this assumption that if research isn’t published in perfect English, or focuses on a very niche subject that’s really only relevant to specific local contexts, then that means the research is either low quality or irrelevant. 

This is especially because of how research is prioritised in its value these days, and this is one of the many places where commodification enters the conversation as a major issue. Often times, major funding is only allocated to research that is deemed important by multinational corporations or prestigous research institutions in the Global North who sort of set the agenda of what is necessary to study and what isn’t – and these topics are usually prioritised based on the needs of these entities and their contexts, and completely ignore the localised needs of researchers in the Global South, who then don’t have access to that same funding. 

  1. Please explain how absolute objectivity is colonial ideology

This is a really interesting ideology to ponder on in decolonial discourse, because it seems very out there to say that there’s no such thing as objective truth, especially in a world that is run by scientific innovation. The idea of objectivity may seem to be clear and cut, but it goes back to the idea of intellectual dominance and colonialism. There was an ideological hierarchy set by colonial powers that placed their “truth” as the only “truth”, and took objectivity to mean that their truth is the only one with any substance or value. 

Many indigenous knowledge systems question this idea of absolute objectivity, because it is often rooted in inherently colonial, patriarchal, and violent understandings of nature, human experience, and society. I was first introduced to this philosophy through postcolonial gender theory, where researchers like Vandana Shiva questioned the very idea of scientific knowledge as we know it today as something that was forced on us as the only virtuous fact, but is sometimes actually the most harmful opinion. 

  1. What is the direct impact of colonisation on knowledge production today?

The impact of colonisation on knowledge production today can be found in a plethora of arenas. While colonisation as we once knew it is not nearly as prominent as it was in the 19th and 20th centuries, neo-imperial and neo-colonial ideologies are still very much strong holding the majority of the world’s systems. You can see legacies of it in how we think about scientific studies, methodologies, or even the metrics that we use to classify ‘good’ and ‘bad’ research. 

It informs how we think about credibility, and determines who gets to speak the loudest and whose voice gets silenced. It marginalises researchers who use indigenous knowledge methodologies (often rooted in intuition and connection to land and spirit) and prioritises the voices of liberal scientists who believe in objective fact rooted in numbers and rationality. 

Overall, it prioritises knowledge produced and disseminated by Western organisations and researchers that then have an impact on Western communities, and leave the global majority out of the conversation.

Watch the webinar here

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What is research design? A comprehensive guide to design types, components and challenges

Zendy - What is research design?

Research design is the strategy that tackles collection, interpretation and discussion of data, it determines how research will be carried out. A well-planned research design ensures that the methods correspond with research objectives, quality data is collected and analysis is done appropriately. Research design is essentially the blueprint that guides the research writing process, shaping the questions, methods, and conclusions. In this blog, we explore the key components of research design, discuss different approaches and methodologies, and provide insights into how to create a robust design that yields valuable insights.

Types of Research Design

Before beginning the research process, it is imperative to determine the type of research design that will comprehensively answer or prove the research question or statement. 

Research DesignDefinition
ExploratoryExplores the gaps in research, which are areas that have not been explored in depth.
DescriptiveFocuses on everything besides the “why”. Descriptive research aims to obtain sufficient information to describe a phenomenon. 
ExplanatorySpecifically investigates the “why”. Sets out to equip reader with further knowledge on the subject area and predict developmental trajectory. 
ExperimentalThis is the process of carrying out research in a controlled and objective manner to produce credible results that align with a thesis statement. 
Cross-sectionalThis is an observational study that measures both the outcome and exposure of certain stimuli
LongitudinalThese are repetitive cross-sectional studies where participants are observed over a long period of time. 
Case studyThis is an in-depth study conducted over a period of time to observe the development of a situation or a person. 

Components of Research Design

Design components are the building blocks of constructing an effective research design. To yield objective findings, the research design should be set up in a way that every relevant contributing factor is either a variable or a control to influence the experiment appropriately. 

Design ComponentRelevance and Definition
Research question The research question is what the research or project is designed to answer, formulating and phrasing the research question dictates the data collection and analysis methods.
HypothesisThis is a proposed explanation that is based off of the limited research and evidence, it is the starting point of further research and investigation.
VariablesThese are measurable factors. There are 2 kinds of variables; independent and dependent and they are used to observe cause and effect relationships.
Data collection methodsThese are the ways in which primary research can be conducted and the most common ones are surveys, interviews, focus groups, observations etc. 
Sampling techniquesThese are strategies to select participants based on relevant factors. The most common techniques are snowball, cluster, stratified, systematic, randomised, quota and convenience. 
Data analysisThis is the most crucial stage of research as it summarises the data in an analytical manner to establish patterns, trends or relations. 

Creating Effective Research Design

For a research design to be effective, all the components must align with one another. To ensure this alignment, the researcher should determine whether the data needs to be qualitative or quantitative while also considering the scope of the research question and the answer the study derives. To avoid misalignment of components, refer to the order below: 

• Your research objectives must be consistent with the “gap” that your research is addressing. 

• Your research questions must be aligned with research objectives. 

• Your hypotheses must be aligned with your research questions. 

• Your research method must be appropriate to research objectives and research questions. 

• Your research design must be consistent with your research method. 

• Your research methodology must be consistent with research design.

Zendy - Steps to creating effective research design

Common Challenges & Tackling Them

  1. Participant and sample collection

The most efficient way to attract participants is to have incentives and learn to “sell” your research project to potential participants, this would make them more willing to partake in the study. 

  1. Finding research collaborators

The first place to look for collaborators is within your own professional network. However, if you’ve struggled to find them, then you can look into expanding your network by attending academic conferences. Another tip is to look for collaborators that challenge you to see your research through different aspects. 

  1. Finding research funding

To find research funding, try to branch out to international sources as well. Look for online sources and apply, this can help put you in touch with international researchers which also fosters collaboration and inclusivity within your research. 

In conclusion, research design is the compass that guides the expedition into the realm of knowledge. It is a meticulous process that, when executed effectively, paves the way for discovery, innovation, and progress. As we highlighted the key components of research design, this blog uncovered its multifaceted nature. From the types of research design, each with its unique purpose and methodology, to the essential components that form the building blocks of an effective design, it is clear that a well-planned approach is essential. 

FAQs

What is the role of research design in research study?

The purpose of research design is to dictate the effective plan to carry out the study. It is the approach with which a study is executed, it ensures that all variables within the study are carefully planned for and accurately measured. 

How does the choice of design impact data collection?

The chosen research design ensures that all relevant factors within the research study can be analyzed to provide clear insights. The design determines whether the data collected will be qualitative, quantitative or a mix of both. 

What are the key differences between exploratory and experimental research designs?

The main difference is that experimental research is done in a controlled environment and  exploratory research seeks to answer a question or address a phenomenon or statement.

How can a strong research design enhance the validity of study results?

The strongest research designs avoid far-fetched correlations, rigorously test the hypothesis, and ensure that the results are generalisable.

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Open Access Week 2023: Interview With Kamran Kardan and Sara Crowley Vigneau

Imagine a world driven and progressing through the dissemination of objective research. This is the vision that introduced Open Access week. What begun in 2007 as Open Access day through the partnership of student volunteers and SPARC, has since become a globally recognised movement and event that stands to disseminate quality academic research without paywalls and restrictions so that global societies are free to make informed decisions towards progress; the Open Access movement has also assisted in creating more inclusive and collaborative research communities. 

A brief history of open access 

While the movement began taking form in the late 2000s, the first few open access journals appeared between the late 80s and early 90s and were disseminated through emails, newsgroups and volunteer labor. Due to this emerging trend, an online repository known as e-prints was founded by American physicist, Paul Ginsparg in 1991. This database was then renamed ArXiv.org in 1999 which encouraged the publishing industry to establish other open access databases like SciELO, BioMed Central, PubMed Central and more.

Zendy’s open access journey

Zendy is one such digital library that was inspired by the Open Access movement. Zendy offers affordable access and open access research content on one platform. Open Access week is significant to Zendy as we stand to create knowledgeable global communities by disseminating quality academic research from leading publishers. Our co-founder, Kamran Kardan says “I have been involved in the Open Access movement since its earliest days. I had also done my thesis around it. Since then, I have been concerned about what triggers the movement. I believe the biggest motivator of the movement is affordability; as access to journals was paid for with taxpayer money, to access research that was also funded through taxpayer money. This overlapping cost drives the movement.” 

He went on to express, “Looking at the challenges faced by pirated access and given the vast content that is still paywalled, it leaves room to explore a different business model known as affordable access. It’s not something that’s new, as this is present in the entertainment industry as many of us have Netflix and Spotify subscriptions. Zendy has taken that and applied it to scholarly research.”

The 2023 Open Access Week marks 16 years since its inception. The theme for this year is “community over commercialisation” which encourages open conversation around open access initiatives that serve communities and those that engage in commercialising academia, essentially this year’s theme places open access initiatives under a microscope. It also sets out to highlight the importance of freely available scholarly materials to teachers, researchers, and lifelong learners. Open access week provides academics with the perfect opportunity to learn of and spread open access initiatives to help widen the conversation and normalise open access alternatives across the world of publishing. 

Driving change with the SDGs

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) place great emphasis on the open access movement. Opening academic research to the wider public not only helps individuals make informed decisions but also contributes to creating more inclusive scientific communities while accelerating global collaboration on interdisciplinary research. Broadening opportunities in education and increasing global literacy rates directly supports SDG-4 (Ensuring Quality Education). 

Zendy’s Partnerships Relations Manager, Sara Crowley Vigneau says, “Open access reduces inequalities in access to content that is directly relevant to the SDGs, promoting a more equitable and inclusive publishing system. From the start of 2023, Zendy’s readership has seen an increase of professionals outside of academia and essentially, this is what open access does, it increases the societal relevance of academic research.” 

She went on to express, “The role of open access in supporting the SDGs is to broaden scientific and policy related conversations by ensuring researchers from all regions can contribute to research regardless of funding. This also opens the door to academic research being published in local languages, thereby eliminating language barriers and allowing for research to be region-specific to increase its relevance rather than just following the leading, benchmark research from developed regions.” 

As we observe Open Access week in 2023, it is imperative to recognise the collaborative progress made by the ecosystem of open access stakeholders, including researchers, institutions, publishers, and providers. Publishing open access benefits readers and researchers alike, as it increases the visibility of research. While there is still significant progress to be made, the world of academia has seen an influx of initiatives to empower research communities and create stronger and more inclusive collaborative ecosystems. 

Discover millions of open access research papers across an array of disciplines on Zendy now. 

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A Guide on How to Effectively Write an Academic Research Paper

Writing research papers is a fundamental aspect of academia that plays a key role in developing and disseminating knowledge accurately. It serves to communicate new findings, ideas, and theories to a broader audience within the scholarly community. Research paper writing is a systematic approach to investigating, analysing, and synthesising information.

The importance of research papers lies in their ability to enhance the collective understanding of a subject, generate new insights, and encourage critical thinking and problem-solving skills. In this blog, we venture into the meticulous process and various aspects of research paper writing; from carefully choosing a research topic to overcoming common challenges, this blog is your pocket guide to advancing your research writing skills. 

Choosing an Appropriate Topic

The first step to choosing a research topic is to identify the specialism and subject area that your research would be relevant to and thoroughly study the research that is already available within the field; this will reveal the gaps of research within the subject. 

There are 2 ways in which the gaps in research can be approached; either by adding new aspects to prevalent topics or moving away from the trending topics and venturing into a lesser-explored part. Working on new research provides the subject with a fresh perspective that can lead to newer advancements than adding to a prevalent topic. However, working on a prevalent topic offers an array of credible citations and previous research. 

The way your research question is phrased should invoke exploration and inquiry from readers, while also accurately describing the matter that the research paper will be exploring and investigating. 

Conducting the Research

To execute reliable scholarly research there are a number of measures to be taken. From laying the initial research framework to executing primary research, it is beneficial to place careful strategies at every phase of the research process. The following steps break down the recommended research flow. 

  1. Execute preliminary exploration: Before diving into primary and secondary research, conduct a preliminary exploration of the topic. Familiarize yourself with existing knowledge, theories, and research findings related to your area of interest. 
  2. Develop a research plan: Create a research plan that outlines how to efficiently gather the required information. Identify the sources you will require (e.g., scholarly articles, books, primary sources) and research methods you will apply (e.g., surveys, experiments, interviews). A well-structured plan will ensure a systematic approach to your research.
  3. Utilise credible sources: Rely on credible sources to gather information. Academic journals, databases, books, and reputable websites are excellent starting points. Evaluate the credibility of sources by considering factors such as author expertise, publication date, peer-review process, and the reputation of the publishing platform. Here are some recommended reliable databases: Google Scholar, Zendy, IEEE, EBSCO
  4. Take effective notes: As you gather information, take organized and concise notes. Summarize key points, record bibliographic details, and note any relevant concepts or ideas. Properly cite and reference your sources to avoid plagiarism and ensure accurate attribution.
  5. Analyze and synthesize information: Once you have collected a substantial amount of data, analyze and synthesize the information to draw meaningful conclusions. Identify patterns, trends, and relationships within the data and critically evaluate the findings in relation to your research question. Identify any gaps in the existing literature that your research could address.
  6. Ethical considerations: Adhere to ethical guidelines throughout your research process. Obtain necessary permissions, protect participant confidentiality, and ensure the ethical use of data. Familiarize yourself with the ethical standards set by your institution or discipline and maintain integrity in your research practices.

Structuring the Research Paper

The structure of the research paper ensures a smooth flow of research. This showcases the author’s thoroughness on the available literature and how their own research affects the trajectory of the subject. Each component of the research paper presents evidence-based explanations of the approaches to the methodology, analysis and literature review sections. The structure is designed to present the transition of the research stages appropriately. 

A) Title and Abstract 

The title and abstract page of the research paper is the reader’s first impression. It should be written in a completely objective tone and should allow the reader to accurately skim and gain insight into the gist of the research aims and findings. 

B) Introduction

The introduction section gives the reader a thorough background into your research area. Your topic can be introduced as a broad subject and then narrowed down to your specific research question, this provides the reader with an understanding of your positioning within your field of study. 

The introduction section has 5 main goals: 

  • Introduce the field of study
  • Present and summarise existing literature
  • Establish your approach
  • Describe the problem statement that the paper will investigate
  • Provide an overview of the research paper’s structure

Example: The field of Marine Biology gains more traction as debates on marine pollution cause controversy in media outlets (Introduction to field). According to Smith (2022), one of the leading causes of marine pollution is the increase in plastic within the oceans, which leads to habitat destruction. This suggests that human water activities are contributing to the decline in the longevity of marine life (Present and summarize literature). This research paper aims to thoroughly investigate the extent of sea tourism in key regions and establish a comprehensive comparison of the state of the marine life within these regions (Establish approach). Furthermore, this paper highlights the threats that water activities pose to the trajectory of research within marine biology and investigates whether potential safety measures or ceasing human water activities would be more effective in preserving marine life (Description of problem statement). This research paper will present a comprehensive literature review that analyses recent debates, findings and incidents in marine life that have been directly caused by human activities and then highlight the key methodologies utilised to investigate and compare water tourism against the state of marine life in key regions; additionally, the paper consists of a thorough analysis of the findings and proposes safer practices (Structure of research paper).

C) Literature Review

The literature review is an important component of any research paper, it serves as a thorough analysis and evaluation of the available sources, debates, themes and gaps within the respective field of study. This section is the researcher’s opportunity to discuss and present all the relevant sources to exhibit their own familiarity and positioning on the subject. 

A well-written literature review depicts and presents a thorough analysis, criticism and identification of on-going debates and studies within the field, this information is not just presented and cited but also dissected. 

Listed below are a few beneficial questions to cross-check when writing a literature review.

  • Trends: Which theories and methodologies are more referenced and utilised?
  • Themes: What concepts and debates persist across the sources?
  • Debates and conflicts: Where do the sources disagree and why?
  • Critical publications: Any influential theories or studies that changed the direction of the field?
  • Gaps: What is missing from the literature? Are there weaknesses that need to be addressed?

It is important to note that within certain disciplines there is an abundance of sources, debates and findings; to conduct an efficient literature review in these cases, the author can simply stick to the specialism or sources that are directly relevant to the research paper rather than approaching it as a broad topic.

D) Methodology

The research methodology section depicts the data collection and analysis process of the research. In this component of the paper, the researcher has to explain the selected data collection methods and how they are appropriate and efficient for the kind of research that was conducted. This needs to be written in detail specifying the method, sample size, measures taken to ensure objectivity and other relevant variables. 

The methodology section needs to include the following: 

  • The type of research conducted
  • How the data was collected and analysed
  • Any tools or materials the research utilized
  • How research biases were avoided
  • Why these methods were selected

This section solves the ‘How?’ and allows readers to evaluate the reliability and credibility of the findings. 

E) Results & Analysis

The findings section in an academic research paper is where the results of the research are presented. Firstly, start by clearly stating the research objectives and hypothesis or research questions that guided your study. Then, present the data and findings in a logical and organized manner, using tables, charts, or graphs if appropriate. Interpret the findings by discussing their implications, relating them to existing literature, and addressing any limitations or potential biases. Finally, conclude the section by summarizing the key findings and their significance in relation to the research objectives.

When writing the findings section, ensure clarity and conciseness by using a straightforward and objective writing style. Avoid interpretation or speculation in this section; save that for the discussion section. Use subheadings to divide the findings into sections to ensure easy navigation for readers. 

F) Discussion

The discussion section of the research paper is where the researcher presents an in-depth analysis of the importance, relevance and description of the results. It should focus on the evaluation of the findings and associate back to the literature review and subject area, this section should discuss how the findings support your initial hypothesis. 

You may include the following in your discussion section:

  • Summary: A brief recap of the key results and research output
  • Interpretations: What do the results mean?
  • Implications: Why do the results matter?
  • Limitations: What can’t the results depict?
  • Recommendations: Slight modifications for further studies to get more accuracy 

 

G) Conclusion

The conclusion is the last part of the research paper. It should be concise yet engaging, leaving the reader with a thorough recap and understanding of your findings, as well as the answer to the initial research question.

Your conclusion should include:

  • The answer to your main research question
  • A summary of the research process
  • Depict any new knowledge you have contributed
  • Wrap up your thesis or dissertation

H) References & Citations

After the conclusion, the research paper must consist of a reference list. This has to be in alphabetical order and in the correct citation format that the respective institution or discipline follows. The citation list allows readers and researchers to create a framework of knowledge and refer to articles that further support your research and argument, this allows for more educational awareness around your area of research. 

Proofreading and Editing

In the world of academia, accuracy and precision is the core of the dissemination of research. Research papers are read and referenced by researchers globally hence there’s little room for error. The proofreading and editing process within academia is rigorous, everything from the format to the grammar is carefully reviewed repeatedly. 

Listed below are recommended proofreading practices: 

  • Review grammar: Grammatical mistakes are common and often missed, it is crucial to review the placement of grammatical marks while proofreading the content. For example, s small misplacement of a comma can lead to contextual misinterpretations
  • Review Clarity: The academic language is designed to eliminate bias and room for misunderstanding. It is classified as a tone of voice of it’s own to maintain it’s objective and factual nature, to avoid the lack of clarity in research papers; it is recommended to re-read and review all the written content to assess whether it is widely comprehensive.
  • Seek Feedback: A fresh set of eyes on a research paper is always beneficial. Feedback can expose mistakes and misinterpretations that the author could have missed due to rigorously working on the research paper. 

Writing research papers is a craft that requires thorough attention to detail. Each section of a research paper is tackled and approached in a unique way to ensure the flow of information is smooth. The methodology section ensures the reliability of the research, while the results and analysis section presents the findings in a clear and organized manner.

The discussion section provides an in-depth analysis and interpretation of the results, while the conclusion summarizes the key findings and their implications. Proper referencing and citations are essential for acknowledging the contributions of other researchers. Lastly, the proofreading and editing process ensures accuracy and clarity in the final research paper. By following these steps, researchers can effectively contribute to their respective fields, drive progress, and foster academic excellence.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should a research paper be?

The length of research papers varies greatly depending on the topic. Research papers are in-depth, but it is common to find short research papers ranging between 2,000 and 4,000 words. More comprehensive research papers range between 10,000 to 20,000 words. 

How do I choose a good research topic?

Always choose a topic you have an interest in. When you care about the topic, the research process will be more in-depth and enjoyable. Once you have a broad idea of the topic, you can then narrow down your idea by immersing yourself in reading material. It’s essential to review new and old literature on the same topic to help you understand different perspectives. 

What are the common mistakes to avoid in research paper writing?

Always avoid plagiarism first and foremost, as it will impact your credibility as a researcher and writer, no matter how interesting your idea is. Other common mistakes include grammatical errors, repetition, inconsistent formatting, a weak abstract, and overly complex language. 


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Breaking Down SJR Scores: A Guide to Understanding Academic Journal Performance

What is SJR?

The SJR (Scimago Journal Rank) is a metric that measures the prestige and impact of scientific journals. It is based on the concept of prestige transfer via citation links. Developed by the Scimago Lab, the metric ranks journals based on the citations received by their articles and the SJR scores of the citing journals. The SJR metric considers not only the total number of citations but also the quality of the citing journals as the subject field, quality and reputation of the journal have a direct effect on the citation of SJR.

A higher SJR score indicates that a journal has received more citations from other prestigious journals, signifying a higher level of influence and impact within the scientific community. However, the Scimago Journal Rank is just one of many metrics utilised to evaluate the quality and impact of scientific journals, and it should be considered alongside other measures such as the impact factor, h-index, and expert opinion when assessing the significance of a journal.

Why should you utilise SJR?

The Scimago Journal Rank is a public resource, meaning no subscription is needed to access and view any journal’s rank or score. SJR covers all disciplines, taking into account all relevant aspects of a journal tailored to the subject area. Moreover, the rankings are optimised to factor in the differences in citation behaviour between disciplines. It can be argued that SJR is a well-rounded metric, here are some key benefits of utilising it:

  • Evaluate journal quality

 SJR provides a quantitative measure of the prestige and impact of scientific journals. The score considers both the number of citations received by a journal and the quality of the citing journal. By utilising SJR, you can easily assess the relative importance and influence of different journals within a discipline.

  • Identify influential journals

 SJR scores journals based on their impact and visibility within the scientific community. The score can identify the most influential journals in your area of research, allowing you to target your publications to maximise their impact and reach.

  • Compare journals within a field 

SJR provides a comprehensive comparison of different journals within a discipline. You can assess the standing and ranks of journals based on their SJR scores and determine which ones are more widely recognised by the scientific community.

  • Benchmark research output

SJR also provides rankings at national and institutional levels. It can assist in benchmarking the research output of different countries or institutions, enabling you to assess their scientific productivity.

  • Stay updated on scientific trends

By regularly consulting SJR, you can keep track of the evolving landscape of scientific journals, including emerging journals, new research areas, and trends within your field of interest.

How is SJR calculated? 

The SJR (Scimago Journal Rank) is calculated using a methodology that counts the number of citations a journal receives. The source of citations is also taken into account; citations from prestigious citing journals. The steps involved in calculating the SJR score are:

  1. Collection of data: The methodology is initiated by collecting data on citations from Scopus, which is a comprehensive bibliographic database of scientific literature.
  2. Weighting citations: Each citation received by an article within the journal is weighted based on the importance of the citing journal. The methodology considers the SJR of the citing journal as an indicator of its prestige. Higher-ranked journals contribute more to the SJR score of the journal being evaluated.
  3. Normalisation: To account for differences in citation practices between fields of study, the SJR algorithm implements a normalisation process. This process adjusts variations in citation patterns and citation potential across different disciplines.
  4. Prestige of the citing journals: Journals that receive citations from more prestigious and influential journals are given higher weight in the calculation.
  5. Journal self-citations: Self-citations, which are citations made by a journal to its own articles, are excluded from the SJR calculation. This ensures that self-referencing does not influence a journal’s SJR score.
  6. Iterative calculation: The Scimago Journal Rank is calculated iteratively, taking into account the rank scores of the citing journals. This iterative process helps adjust the scores and establish a relative ranking of journals within specific subject categories.

What are the limitations of SJR?

While the SJR (Scimago Journal Rank) metric is widely used and provides valuable insights regarding the impact of scientific journals, it is important to consider its limitations. Some of the limitations of the SJR metric are:

  • Subjectivity of Journal Rankings

 The rankings provided by SJR are based on algorithms that consider citation data and the prestige of citing journals. However, the determination of prestige is subjective and can vary across different research communities or disciplines. The choice of specific journals in the Scopus database can also have biases in the rankings.

  • Limited Coverage

SJR relies on the Scopus database for citation data, which may not include all journals across all disciplines. Certain fields or niche journals may be underrepresented in the database, leading to an incomplete representation of the research landscape.

  • Focus on Citations

SJR heavily relies on citation data as the primary focus of a journal’s impact. While citations can be a significant unit of measurement, they do not capture other aspects of a journal’s quality, such as editorial standards, scientific rigour, or societal impact. The metric does not assess factors like the published research’s novelty, originality, or practical applicability.

  • Time Lag

SJR scores are updated annually, which means there can be a time lag in reflecting the most recent developments and impact of journals. This delay may not capture the immediate influence of newly published research.

  • Field Normalisation Challenges

While the Scimago Journal Rank attempts to normalise citations across different fields, variations in citation practices and publishing patterns can still have biases. Certain disciplines may have higher citation rates due to their nature or popularity, leading to potential imbalances in the rankings.

  • Limited Transparency

The specific details of the algorithm used to calculate SJR scores, including the weighting and normalisation methods, are proprietary information and not publicly disclosed. This lack of transparency can make it difficult to fully understand and critique the metric.

What is the difference between Scimago Journal Rank and Journal Impact Factor?

The journal impact factor is a measure of the frequency with which the average article in a journal has been cited in a particular year. It is used to measure the importance or rank of a journal by calculating the times its articles are cited. The calculation is based on a two-year period and involves dividing the number of times articles were cited by the number of articles that are citable.

The main differentiating point of SJR and Journal Impact Factor is that the Scimago Journal Rank measures prestige and Journal Impact Factor measures citation impact. Both metrics utilise citations to settle a journal’s score. Moreover, both metrics rely on different databases, SJR relies on Scopus while Journal Impact Factor relies on Journal Citation Reports (JCR), these well-reputed databases assist the algorithms with which each score is decided. Additionally, SJR scores are optimised to compare journals across disciplines while the journal impact factor is not; using this metric you may only compare journals within one discipline. 

In conclusion, the Scimago Journal Rank is a valuable metric that determines the prestige of a specific journal. This article explored why as researchers, you should be utilising SJR and how it is calculated while highlighting the metric’s limitations. To help you gain a better understanding, the article also included a brief comparison between the Scimago Journal Rank and Journal Impact Factor. While SJR is arguably a well-rounded metric, it should not be the only method of analysis and should be considered along with other metrics and expert opinions to draw final conclusions about a specific journal. 

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Investigating Sci-Hub: An Exploration of the Strengths and Limitations

Valuable scientific research papers are usually stored behind paywalls. Sci-Hub is a platform that emerged in 2011 as a means to ‘remove all barriers in science’ while the initiative and establishment of Sci-Hub made strides within the open access movement, various questions and concerns have been raised about piracy and intellectual rights infringements as well is how the future of research will be impacted. From individual authors and researchers to publishing giants, this blog presents a comprehensive framework of the strengths and limitations of platforms like Sci-Hub. 

What is Sci-Hub? 

Sci-Hub is a website that provides free access to scientific research papers and academic articles that are behind paywalls. It was founded by Alexandra Elbakyan in 2011, with the goal of making scientific knowledge accessible to anyone, regardless of their financial resources or institutional affiliations. The site uses proxy servers to bypass the paywalls of major scientific publishers and provide users with free access to articles that would otherwise require a paid subscription. The use of Sci-Hub is controversial, as it is illegal in many countries and has been the subject of lawsuits by major publishers. However, it has also gained a large following among researchers and scholars who see it as a way to access scientific research.

Why so many are attracted to Sci-Hub?

An eminent argument is that Sci-Hub disseminates scientific research papers within emerging regions globally, this is done with no restrictions and in an effort to enhance the accessibility of research. As an open access platform, the establishment of Sci-Hub adds pressure on publishers, libraries and databases alike to provide open access alternatives to level the field within academia. 

Providing access to high-quality scientific research in emerging countries not only promotes equality within academia but also has the potential to increase the contribution from these countries and provide new perspectives and areas of study within research communities. Moreover, research papers are undoubtedly impacted positively by increased visibility and transparency.

Why is Sci-Hub controversial?

As Sci-Hub gains popularity, it is a controversial platform known to part-take in copyright infringement. The platform operates by providing free access to scientific research papers that are behind paywalls. By bypassing these restrictions, Sci-Hub has published and disseminated a vast collection of copyrighted material without the permission of publishers, making it a hub for copyright infringement. 

Due to Sci-Hub operating outside the traditional publishing model and obtaining its content illegally, this flags significant quality control issues; without the peer review process and editorial supervision provided by reputable journals, there is a concern about the research being disseminated by Sci-Hub.

While Sci-Hub has gained popularity; Sci-Hub also does not provide key metrics. This impacts the revenue streams of publishers and individual authors as the metrics to track and produce credibility are not taken into account. This lost data has the potential to negatively impact current and future research communities. Metrics like downloads and citations are significant to assessing a researcher’s credibility and career, Sci-Hub does not allow researchers or readers to access this information which creates a roadblock for research communities to operate on reliable metrics.

Furthermore, Sci-Hub undermines traditional publishing methods. Due to the platform not relying on article fees and subscriptions; the platform cannot fund the dissemination of quality scientific research. While Sci-Hub’s mission is to increase accessibility, this can be challenging as the platform has been banned in several countries because of Sci-Hub’s illegal methods of obtaining content, it is worth mentioning that the platform has been accused of using email phishing methods and gaining access to 42 university databases. In addition, the research available on Sci-Hub is not reviewed or updated making the research old and less relevant. 

What actions can the research industry take? 

Undoubtedly, platforms like Sci-Hub exist because of the gaps present in the research sector. To discourage the use of illegal platforms like Sci-Hub, the research industry can take several significant actions, such as making research papers more affordable and widely available, improving the quality and scope of open access research papers, negotiating better deals with publishers, and substantially increasing public funding for research. Additionally, researchers can publish their work in open access journals or deposit their manuscripts in institutional repositories, which can make their work more accessible. An increase in awareness about the implications on the research community of using pirated content can also help discourage the use of sites like Sci-Hub by readers and learners.

In conclusion, the principle that Sci-Hub was built on is to grant access to emerging regions, low-income students and researchers to the world of scientific research. While this is an admirable foundation, the dismissal of the established processes in the industry is harmful to the future of researchers. To significantly reduce the usage of pirated platforms, all stakeholders in the publishing spectrum must work together to create and promote affordable and accessible models of dissemination.

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Assessing the Importance of Analytics in Academic Research

In the current data-driven era, the importance of analytics in academic research cannot be overstated. Analytics help determine editorial decisions and give publishers insight into how their publications are being consumed, making analytics an indispensable tool for researchers across both STEM and HSS fields. In this blog, we assess and explore how analytics enable researchers to extract insights and make evidence-based decisions while also considering the benefits and limitations of analytics within academic research.

Benefits of analytics

  • Analytics within academic research provides insight into how research papers are being utilised by readers, taking into account the platforms the research is being consumed on, the citations it receives and how it is being shared.
  • Analysing metrics relevant to academic research helps to identify author and reader behaviour. This results in informed editorial decisions, along with better 
  • Analytics also allow academic research publishers to streamline their workflow by calculating submission and acceptance timelines. This also has the potential to depict and analyse peer-review times and provides a thorough analysis of the data mentioned within a manuscript submission.
  • Identifying the most cited research within a specific discipline can benefit authors’ own academic research with accurate sources from well-reputed journals and/or authors.

Consuming academic research from legal platforms which respect copyright guidelines aid publishers in collecting accurate data to produce and publish new academic research papers. Furthermore, this collection of data and metrics aids researchers advance within their careers as it helps establish researcher credibility through H-index scores and other metrics. 

Drawbacks of analytics

  • The collection and analysis of reader data to depict usage and engagement can raise privacy concerns especially if personal details are also extracted.
  • The data collected within academic research can be biased or misinterpreted if not examined rigorously. For example, data on citations and downloads may not accurately convey the impact of research but rather the popularity of the author or journal.
  • The growth of analytics in academic research may create an overreliance on metrics. This can potentially shift the focus to trending topics and authors rather than original, relevant and impactful research.
  • Currently, there is no standard method for collecting and reporting analytical data within academic research. This lack of standardisation leaves room for misinterpretation, fabrication and biased numbers.

Platforms like Z-library, which provide free but illegal access to academic research and publications, pose a threat to the analytics used by publishers. Z Library bypasses traditional publishing by engaging in the unauthorised sharing of copyrighted content. It hosts digital copies of books without the explicit permission of the authors or publishers. This violates copyright laws and intellectual property rights. This can undermine the ability of publishers to make data-driven decisions about which articles to publish and promote, and can also affect the accuracy of analytics data. Which in turn affects the measurement of the true impact of academic research publications.

In conclusion, the growth of analytics within academic research is undeniable. While metrics allow publishers, authors and readers to depict how accurate their sources are and how well their research papers are performing, this comes at the cost of potential privacy concerns, fabrication of data and the lack of a standardised approach to collecting and reporting analytical data. However, investing time and resources to establish safe practices that produce accurate metrics can greatly benefit all parties involved in academic research; publishers can use this data to cater to readers by creating personalised lists and recommendations while also encouraging researchers to work within certain subject areas across different disciplines.

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Impacting Academia: How Do The Sustainable Development Goals Help Reduce Inequalities in Research?

To combat global challenges like climate change, poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) organised a framework in 2015 to effectively rectify these issues. In this blog, we highlight how research and academia play a vital role in advancing the SDGs through the Publishers Compact, from generating evidence-based solutions to shaping policies that drive sustainable development. We also explore the ways in which the SDGs are helping to reduce inequalities in research communities.

What are the sustainable development goals? 

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a total of 17 goals adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a global call to action to prioritise and overcome the world’s most imperative social, economic, and environmental issues. They provide a clear roadmap for countries, organisations, and individuals to transform our world into an equitable, inclusive, and sustainable place for present and future generations. 

Caption: image credits: sdg-tracker.org

Which SDGs directly impact research communities? 

This sustainable development goal is focused on promoting equal access to quality education for all. Mainly targeting STEM fields, SDG 4 aims to increase the skill and knowledge of the global workforce to encourage and increase contributions to research and innovation. By 2030, SDG 4 will ensure that gender disparities in educational sectors are eliminated, increase the supply of qualified teachers in developing countries and build educational facilities that are child and disability friendly. 

SDG 5 strongly focuses on eliminating discrimination against women and girls to promote their equal participation in all aspects of life. By addressing gender inequality in research communities, such as the underrepresentation of women in STEM disciplines, the sustainable development goals can create a more diverse and inclusive scientific community.

SDG 10 aims to reduce social, economic and political inequalities in all aspects of life, including research communities. By promoting equal access to research opportunities, resources, and funding,  SDG 10 aims to level the playing field and reduce disparities in the scientific community. 

SDG 17 places an emphasis on the importance of collaboration to achieve all social development goals. By encouraging and promoting collaboration between researchers, academic institutions, governments and other relevant bodies; the SDGs can create a more integrated research community. 

To further encourage participation in the succession of the SDGs, the general public needs to be aware of the progress made and the research conducted to progress each SDG. To understand the growth since the launch of the SDGs in 2015, the United Nations has created an accurate SDG tracker.

What is the SDGs Publishers Compact?

Launched in 2020, the Publishers Compact consists of fellows segregated into 4 groups to tackle 4 key initiatives to amplify SDG content in the publishing sector which will disseminate worldwide and encourage the application and general practice of the SDGs within other industries.  

Firstly, the Compact ensures the integration of SDG educational materials. Academic societies have been developing methods for publishers to recognise and rectify the lack of SDG-related content and activities in their education systems and materials. An increase in SDG-related content within schools and universities will likely result in a higher participation and contribution from students, professors, researchers and life long learners in the succession of the 17 goals.

Moreover, the compact promotes applying and practicing the SDGs. This is to encourage authors, editors, and publishers to create summarised content and formats that are useful and appealing to various industries and sectors (such as businesses, services etc). There is also a list of “Top Actions” tips to encourage the integration of SDGs into daily practice and to catalyse research based on the challenges and opportunities practitioners face.

Furthermore, the Publishers Compact is dedicated to redefining the impact indicators of research, like academic rankings and incentives. This is a work in progress, as a list of “Top Actions” tips for publishers, editors, authors, librarians and graduate students is being developed and completed. The committee is preparing a resource to highlight SDG research papers and their impact on policy, education, society and more. 

Finally, the Publishers Compact is committed to shifting culture in higher education. This initiative is dedicated to taking steps to affect culture change throughout the academic and publishing ecosystem. This requires evaluating the various stakeholders and their needs, to move the focus toward the SDGs. While the initial focus will be on connecting with and elevating those already working with SDGs, eventually this will transition to highlighting additional associations (e.g. journal editors), companies (e.g. publishers)  and institutions (e.g. educators and researchers) and the spaces where the SDGs can be incorporated.

Zendy, which is a product of Knowledge E, is a signatory of the United Nations Publishers Compact. In our efforts to democratise knowledge, we are committed to the causes and principles that the SDGs are striving to achieve by 2030. By increasing the dissemination of research globally, we aim to contribute in creating a sustainable world driven by knowledge and research. 

How is open science contributing to the implementation of SDGs?

Open science encourages transparency, collaboration and inclusivity in scientific research by publishing research without restrictions; making it as accessible as possible. This has the potential to significantly contribute to the implementation and succession of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Open science facilitates the dissemination and usage of research to promote evidence-based solutions, which will accelerate the progress towards the SDGs in the following ways.

  • Promotes collaborative research and innovation – This enables scientists, policymakers, practitioners, and other relevant bodies to work together across disciplines and regions. This collaborative approach will contribute to interdisciplinary research, the integration of local and indigenous knowledge, and allow diverse perspectives and expertise to be included in the development of sustainable solutions.
  • Enhances the accessibility and usability of research outputs – This makes scientific knowledge widely accessible and usable. Open access publishing of research articles, data, books and other research outputs can enable researchers, policymakers, and practitioners from developing regions to access the latest scientific findings and potentially apply them.
  • Supports evidence-based policymaking and decision-making processes –  By openly sharing research findings, data, and methodologies, policymakers can access a database of research-based evidence to further advance policy development and implementation. Open science also promotes transparency in the evaluation of policies, allowing for accountability and learning from successes and failures.
  • Facilitates advancements that contribute to the SDGs – Openly sharing research data, methodologies, and software can allow collaboration among researchers and enable the development of new technologies and solutions that address complex challenges.
  • Promotes inclusivity and diversity in the scientific community – By promoting open and transparent research practices, open science can create opportunities for underrepresented groups, including women and people from low-income countries, to participate in the scientific process and contribute their unique perspectives and knowledge to address the SDGs.

At Zendy, we believe research papers and educational materials should be affordable and accessible to anyone anywhere. Zendy Open was launched in an effort to disseminate research papers without paywalls or restrictions. We stand to democratise knowledge so that policymakers, governments, researchers, students and relevant authoritative bodies can make informed research-based decisions that impact society. By creating an open access and open science platform, we look to eliminate discrimination and empower the world through knowledge to create a healthy and equally participative educational environment worldwide. 

What impact will the implementation of SGDs have on the research community?

The implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is expected to have a significant impact on the research community in several ways:

  1. Research Priorities: Global research priorities will be aligned with the SDGs, leading to an increased emphasis on research that contributes to the achievement of the goals. This could result in greater funding and resources being allocated to research areas that are aligned with the SDGs.
  2. Interdisciplinary Research: The SDGs encourage integrated approaches to sustainable development. This will promote interdisciplinary research, where researchers from different disciplines collaborate to address complex and interconnected challenges.
  3. Collaboration and Partnerships: The SDGs emphasise the need for partnerships, wherein governments, academia, civil society, private sector, and local communities come together, to collectively work towards achieving the goals. This will result in increased collaboration and partnerships within the research community as well.
  4. Open Science and Data Sharing: The SDGs highlight the importance of data and evidence-based decision-making for monitoring progress towards the goals. This may lead to increased demand for open science practices, such as open access publishing, data sharing, and transparent research methodologies. The research community may witness a greater emphasis on open science, data sharing, and transparent research practices to facilitate knowledge exchange, collaboration, and enable evidence-based policymaking.
  5. Global and Regional Collaboration: The SDGs are a global agenda, but their implementation requires localised actions and context-specific solutions. The research community may witness increased global and regional collaboration to address local challenges in alignment with the SDGs. This could involve cross-border research collaborations, knowledge-sharing platforms, and policy exchanges to learn from different contexts and promote solutions that are relevant to specific regions.

In summary, the implementation of the SDGs is expected to have a significant impact on the research community. This will result in an increase in publications being disseminated in open access databases to eliminate discrimination in educational sectors and other aspects of society while also promoting interdisciplinary research to find sustainable solutions to the pressing matters the SDGs aim to rectify; furthermore, the Publishers Compact will play a significant role in ensuring that educational sector abides by their commitment to equal access which will accelerate the progress towards the 17 sustainable development goals. The research community is likely to play a critical role in generating knowledge and evidence-based solutions that contribute to the achievement of the SDGs and drive sustainable development worldwide.

Zendy, which is a product of Knowledge E, is a proud signatory of the United Nations Publishers Compact. Discover millions of journal articles, e-books, proceedings and so much more now on Zendy.

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Write Faster Research Papers: 5 Tips to Help Your Academic Writing Skill

It can be argued that writing research papers is a medium of its own, with the delicate academic language and fact-based citations and hypotheses; it’s a skill that is acquired. Academic writing is artistry that most researchers and students have to know how to execute. Research papers are written in a scholarly tone to convey studies and findings in a uniform manner and to eliminate language bias to communicate objectively.

However, writing research papers can be considered a daunting task to some. It requires a significant amount of research, analysis, and organization, which can be time-consuming. However, with the right approach and techniques, it is possible to write a research paper faster without compromising the quality of your work. In this blog, we discuss practical tips and strategies that can help you write research papers faster, from the initial research stage to the final editing and proofreading phase. Whether you are a student, academic researcher, or a professional, these tips will help you to save time and increase your productivity when writing research papers.

  • Map out your topic

Brainstorm your academic research topic and create a mindmap. Position the title as a question and as a statement to compare how the approach to the topic changes with just the title. Make a list of aspects you can explore within your research topic and use this as a guide for potential subheadings within your research paper. 

  • Conduct Research

Once you have a title finalised, it’s time to research! Find your primary sources and begin reading the relevant research that covers your academic research, figure out how your research can stand out from what is already published and studied. Ensure that there is an adequate amount of material to highlight and discuss within your paper from reliable sources. Furthermore, try to use material from academic library databases as your sources as these are easier to cite and academic databases provide a variety of research and studies across different aspects of a subject. 

  • Create an outline

Creating an outline for an academic research paper is an essential step in the writing process. An outline serves as a roadmap that guides you through the paper, ensuring that all the necessary elements are included and presented in a logical manner. The first step in creating an outline is to identify the main topic. Then, break down the topic into smaller subtopics and organise them in a coherent flow. Each subtopic should be supported by evidence and examples. The outline should also include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion, along with any necessary headings and subheadings. 

  • Structure Your Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement drives the purpose of your paper, essentially it clearly communicates the areas your research paper will explore along with the question or issue you are proposing to solve. There is a simple formula to creating your thesis statement; limited subject, precise opinion and blueprint of reasons. 

It may be structured like this: 

(Limited subject) This study aims to thoroughly understand the accurate state of refugees globally. (Precise Opinion) The essay will effectively highlight the stereotype perpetuated by mass media in portraying refugees who have been displaced due to national conflicts. (Reasoning Blueprint) To present and challenge this notion, this study will assess and dissect the language utilised in newspaper articles from The Guardian, CNN and Fox News reporting on refugee stories. These newspapers have been selected with consideration to their audiences and general stance in the political sphere. 

  • The PEE Method

Upon finalising your introduction and thesis statement, you’ll begin working on the body paragraphs that present evidence and effectively support your statement. There’s also a simple formula for these paragraphs: Point, Evidence and Explanation which is the PEE method. Having a structure to execute the lengthy part of a research paper will speed up your writing process as an effective flow has already been established. 

Your paragraph may be structured like this: 

(Point) The difficulties that refugees face are overlooked when the mass media creates a bias within the general public’s perception of refugees. (Evidence) Smith (2012) argues that there are negative and positive terminologies that can create a bias within the news headline itself and that this tactic is proven best in the case of reporting refugee-related news articles. (Explanation) A common negative term used when reporting on refugees is ‘homeless.’ An effective method to eliminate bias and portray the situation accurately is to use ‘displaced’ instead. 

While there are multiple techniques to write at a faster pace, the most effective is to have an organised structure that flows productively. Following structures for statements and paragraphs saves essential time by just rephrasing and restructuring your research to follow the format. 

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The Growth of Open Access: Why Researchers are Opting to Publish in OA

Open Access is a popular topic in the world of academia and research. Open Access is a movement that seeks to make academic and scientific research available to everyone, free of charge. Due to the movement gaining momentum in recent years, there has been an observed increase in open access library databases. 

While open access benefits users and readers, let’s take a dive into how this revolutionary publishing route can also benefit researchers and authors.

Benefits of Open Access Publishing

  • Increased collaboration among researchers

This provides researchers globally with access to the latest information. Which further aids in collaboration on projects without having to pay expensive subscription fees or purchase textbooks. When paywalls and other restrictions are absent, this also allows for interdisciplinary research to grow and disseminate, helping researchers broaden their network and explore emerging and established disciplines alike. 

Interdisciplinary study allows for ideas and characteristics from many disciplines to be synthesised. Simultaneously, it addresses a researcher’s individual differences and helps to develop important, transferable skills.

  • Removes barriers to promote inclusivity

Open Access is also helping bridge the gap of inequality in access to research, allowing everyone equal access to scientific literature. This highlights the sustainable development goals (SDG’s) publishers compact, wherein UN signatories work towards the 10 commitments to publish knowledge and research in a way which benefits their focused SDG. 

Inclusivity in academic research is essential for the advancement of knowledge and lifelong learning. It ensures that all voices are heard and respected, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, or any other factor. By including diverse perspectives in research, we can gain a better understanding of the world around us and create more meaningful solutions to global problems.

Inclusivity in academia also aids in ensuring research is conducted ethically and with respect for all participants. It encourages researchers to consider the impact of their work on different communities and take into account any potential biases they may have when conducting their studies.

  • Increased Citations and Overall Usage

A recent study has depicted that research published in open access journals and databases gains 18% more citations than restricted research. This promotes the dissemination of an author’s work at a faster pace. An increase in citations and downloads drives more traffic to academic research, indicating an improved impact factor for the research. 

Citations and downloads are important measures of the impact of a research paper. When research is cited by other researchers, it depicts that it is relevant to the research community. Similarly, when research papers are downloaded more frequently, it indicates that this specific research is attracting the attention of the readers. This recognition and visibility can help researchers further establish themselves as experts in their respective field. 

Furthermore, when research papers are widely cited and downloaded, it increases the chances of securing funding for future research. Funding institutions, bodies and organizations often observe citations and download statistics to evaluate the impact of academic research. 

  • Compliance with Open Access Mandate

An open-access mandate is a policy implemented by a research institution which requires the researcher to make their published, peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers open access by self-archiving their final, peer-reviewed drafts in a freely accessible institutional or disciplinary repository. An alternative route would be by publishing them in an open-access journal. 

Adhering to open access mandates can help researchers to further comply with funders or institutional requirements for reporting and sharing research outputs. Many funding agencies and institutions require researchers to report on the outputs of their work, including publications, data, and software. This ensures that academic research published in open access contributes to a wide research community.

Furthermore, compliance with open access mandates can increase the visibility and impact of research. As discussed, a wider reach equates to a higher number of citations and downloads of academic research. 

In conclusion, open access publishing is revolutionising the academic publishing spectrum. With a wider reach and an increase in the adoption of open access publishing; it can be deduced that both reader and researcher benefit from open access publishing. Researchers are increasingly opting to publish their work via open access pathways due to increased visibility, reaching a wider audience which translates to a higher number of citations.

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