July 17, 2017 | Victoria Farrimond, Journals Development Coordinator

Top takeaways from our Expert View on Journal Metrics webinar

We were recently joined by a panel of metrics experts for two live webinar sessions designed to provide our editors with an overview of the available usage data, as well offer the chance to answer any burning questions they may have had about the increasing basket of metrics and indexes.

Our expert panel included our very own metrics guru, James Hardcastle (Senior Research Manager at Taylor & Francis), as well as Dr John Harrison (Associate Editor for Regional Studies), Dr Grant Abt (Social Media Editor for the Journal of Sports Sciences) and Euan Adie (founder and CEO of Altmetric).

Did you miss it? Don’t worry. See below for top takeaways from both sessions, links to resources, and write-ups of the top questions and answers we received from viewers.



Video transcripts: 28th June session | 3rd July session


Top takeaways


James Hardcastle – Mastering metrics


Skewed distributions?

  • Many articles do not have an Altmetric score. The average Altmetric score for a T&F article is 3.4 – anything over 2 is doing well.
  • Impact Factor changes a lot over time. The smaller the journal, the higher the variant from one year to the next, e.g. a highly-cited article may have fallen out of the Impact Factor window.

Which is the best metric?

  • Selecting the right metric for the journal is important:

- Usage (important for practitioner journals)

- Altmetrics

- Citations

- Impact Factor

  • Bear in mind that some metrics contradict each other: if you focus on citations only, you may disregard content that is useful for early career researchers (ECRs) or policy makers, i.e. highly used, but not necessarily highly cited.


John Harrison – Strategies for authors, editors & publishers


‘Publish or perish?’

  • Academics are judged by the work that is published. Quality outputs are measured by: originality, significance and rigour (Publishers are looking for this too.)
  • You don’t just want people to just download the content, you want people to engage with it.
  • Questions for editors and publishers:

- Why do those who look not read? Most likely obstacles are the title and/or abstract.

- Why do those who read not use? Usually the work does not engage the reader. Could also be users, e.g. students.

  • Improve ‘impact’ – increased visibility and quality.


  • Advise authors on their titles/abstracts - these should be short and snappy.
  • Utilize the resources and guidance available to authors about making research visible.
  • Identify emerging and receding topics – be proactive in seeking out the interesting new research.
  • Tackle big, fundamental questions.
  • Maximize visibility – commission special issues, create themed issues from backlog, consider open access, recruit a social media editor.
  • Maximize quality – ECRs (institutional loyalty); incentivize researchers and reviewers.
  • Read Dr Harrison’s ‘Impact is the holy grail’ post for Editor Resources.


Dr Grant Abt – Measuring ‘impact’


Metrics of ‘impact’

  • Report more than just the Impact Factor on your journal website.
  • Impact Factor can often be skewed: it is often useful to look at the median of the distribution over than mean (which is how the IF score is calculated).

- Some journals are already publishing this to give authors a wider array of assessing the ‘impact’/performance of the journal.

Electronic Editorial System metrics

  • Within both S1M and EM, there is the ability to pull reports – e.g. reviewer performance, editor performance.
  • Editor performance: useful information on individual’s acceptance/rejection rate; time to decision (it is possible to set up rules within system, e.g. Journal of Sport Sciences (JSS) automatically un-invites reviewers after 7 days if no response).

Twitter metrics

  • Good way of connecting with the public and attracting authors – can lead to increased submissions.
  • ‘Twinterviews’: short 20-30 minute interview with an author of ‘in press’ paper (paper is made available for free for a limited time). Opportunity to ask the author additional information.

- JSS interview with the (then) Liverpool FC fitness coach and sports scientist Darren Burgess led to 40,000 retweet reach and 100 new followers.


Euan Adie, Altmetric for editors

- Altmetric includes citations from publications that, traditionally, other metrics don’t pick up, e.g. policy documents and guidelines.

  • Funders and governments are increasingly mandating it.
  • Complements citation counts – it is not a replacement. Aims to ‘fill in the gaps’.
  • You can find the Altmetric data on each individual T&F article page – click on the ‘donut’ to view more information.
  • Be mindful that the Altmetric data measures attention, not quality and impact.
  • Journal-level reports are available – contact your Managing Editor for more information.


More information


Presentation slides:


Q&A with the panel:

For more information and resources on journal metrics,
visit our page
Mastering Metrics: A Taylor & Francis Guide

Published: July 17, 2017 | Author: Victoria Farrimond, Journals Development Coordinator | Category: Citations, impact and usage, Front page, Raising the profile of my journal | Tagged with: