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Publications of academic staff

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Internet sources of information on academic staff publications

Information on the publications of employees of universities on the Internet is available in various resources. Some publications are available in the original form (eg books, articles, reports published on publishers’ websites or in full-text databases (eg in ScienceDirect, Arts and Humanities databases) and searchable in various areas (search engines have access to full text or only to metadata.) Such access is the most reliable, but even at this level, information traps lurk for information users.

In addition to primary sources, there are many secondary sources on the Internet – copies or modified versions of publications – in institutional and domain repositories, on authors’ websites and various information services that provide files legally or illegally. Often, the authors themselves publish different versions of their publications on sites offering the creation of so-called profiles of researchers (eg Google Scholar, Research Gate, Researcher ID, ORCID) or publications are automatically added based on Internet sources. As a result, it happens that the same article is available on the Internet in various sources and in different versions. Therefore, scientists willingly use proven sources – databases and repositories created by institutions enjoying authority in the environment. In addition to commercial content providers on the Internet, they also include academic libraries.

In turn, publication metadata appear in commercial and open databases as well as in the lists of descriptions of publications made by various authors and for various purposes.

The most popular bibliographic and abstract multi-department commercial databases, Web of Science and Scopus, gather information about publications in magazines and conference materials (and recently also in e-books and scientific repositories) indexed in these databases. The resources of both databases differ considerably in terms of the size and scope of indexed publications. However, in both databases you can find publications by European authors from specific universities (publication affiliation and author’s name as a search criterion in the database).

These databases are available to all scientific-research and academic institutions in UK as part of the Virtual Science Library . An example of a list of derivative sources of information on publications can be found, for example, on the Jagiellonian Library website. ” The Center for Open Science operates within the Interdisciplinary Center for Mathematical and Computational Modeling of the University of London, which provides open access to¬† databases from various fields of knowledge (eg BazEkon, BazHum, BazTech). However, in such databases, it is generally not possible to use publication as a criterion for searching for affiliation. Therefore, in the search for information about the publications of employees of a given university, it is worth using the university publication database of its employees. In university databases, you can usually find information on most or even all publications of the institution’s employees, including those not indexed in any other databases.

University databases on employee publications

Information on the academic achievements of academic staff is used to disseminate information about the results of scientific research and establishing contacts between scientists and between science and business. More and more often, based on the metadata of the publication, the authors and scientific units are evaluated, and decisions on the allocation of funds for research and education are made. The obligation to document the literary output of university employees is traditionally borne by libraries. Most of the libraries of colleges made them almost from the beginning of their existence, first in printed form, then in electronic form.

New technologies have created the possibility of wider use of bibliographic databases, which are increasingly used not only as a source of information about university staff publications and its business card, but also as a source of data facilitating parametric evaluation of scientific achievements of employees and scientific units, which in turn translates into financing of these units by ministries and the possibility of obtaining financing from other sources, e.g. from grants. One of the important criteria in the national and international rankings of the university are the publications of the university staff and the strength of their impact (quoting). New functions of university bibliography generate new needs and expectations of their users, the fulfillment of which requires the extension of the scope of data collected and processed, often also with non-bibliographic information.

The term “information”, though commonly used, can be defined and understood differently. Harod’s Librarians’ Glossary defines information briefly as a data set in an intelligible form that enables communication. Information, especially scientific information, is often located between the so-called raw data and knowledge. Many difficulties also give a precise definition of the term “publication”, which in the said source is defined as a work submitted to the public in the form of a document or a book. The publication assumes the dissemination of copies of the work that can be read or otherwise visually perceived.

Formulated definitions of publications, like many other definitions and terms functioning in various sources (including legal acts), pose the task of libraries with the task of classifying various materials reported by authors as their publishing achievements and, if possible, precisely defining the scope of data collected in university bibliographic databases . The task is so difficult that apart from traditional books and articles on various media, these are more and more often fragments or entire works (eg research reports, articles, books) published only in institutional or domain repositories, scientific websites and portals, and even in social networking sites for researchers and science blogs.

For this reason, at least basic knowledge about the principles of their functioning (eg about the principles of collecting and verifying data, their chronological scope and scope) is needed to evaluate and interpret information in related sources, such as university bibliographies. This information can be found on the libraries’ websites, most often in descriptions of created resources or in guidelines for authors, as well as in internal legal acts regulating the principles of creating bibliographies of publications of university employees.

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