Wednesday, October 31, 2012


I know a lot of my readers arrive via searches for information on PLoS ONE. So as a follow up on my post on SNIP and SJR here is the data for PLoS ONE:

Two things stand out: First, the journal gets cited in strong citing journals as its SJR is relatively higher than its SNIP. Second, like the Article Influence and Impact Factor, SJR falls in 2011 vs. 2010 though SNIP is flat.

SNIP2 vs. SJR2

Following up from Monday's post on SNIP2 and SJR2. I finally got a copy of the full database. 16866 journals have both a non-zero SNIP and a non-zero SJR for 2011. It's hard to understand how a journal could have a positive SJR but a zero SNIP, but there are a lot of such journals. There are a total of 32060 journals in the database. I plotted the two indicators for the subsample of journals against each other:

The relationship is pretty linear in log-log space except that SJR is truncated at 0.1. The correlation between the two series is 0.75 (0.77 for the log series). 

There are 646 economics, econometrics, and finance journals that have a non-zero SNIP and SJR. Here is the scatterplot for the two indicators for this sample:

It looks very similar to the data for the full sample. So, it doesn't seem that there is a big difference between using one indicator or the other. Looking at the top 20 journals in economics and finance according to SJR, we have:

and looking at the top 20 according to SNIP we have:

The ranking by SJR does look a bit more intuitive I think. I'm thinking that long-term this is what we are going to be looking at using at the Crawford School once Elsevier have all the bugs out of the numbers :)

Monday, October 29, 2012


Elsevier has released it's latest journal impact factors - SNIP and SJR - and announcing some changes in the way they are calculated. They are now called SNIP2 and SJR2. SNIP stands for Source Normalized Impact per Paper and takes into account that citation practices vary across fields and the possibility to get cited is higher in some fields and lower than others. However, instead assigning each article to a field the adjustments are based on the length of reference lists in articles citing the journal in question and what share of those citations the journal in question has. SNIP2 makes some adjustments to reduce the effect of outliers and now the average SNIP will be 1 as will the average SJR. SJR is a recursive indicator similar to Article Influence or PageRank. Previously SJR strongly favored natural science journals and biomedical journals in particular. In other words, it wasn't source normalized. A first glance at the new numbers shows that SNIP doesn't look a lot different before, but that SJR numbers are now in similar ranges to SNIP.

At Crawford we are planning to allocate internal research funds awarded according to publication quantity and quality using SNIP to weight journal articles. It looks like the new metric will be just as suitable. We'll need more experience to see if SJR2 is superior to SNIP.

Monday, October 22, 2012

MYEFO Update

The Australian federal mid-year mini-budget was released this morning. The ARC pause on funding has been released and the Linkage program opened for applications. However, the SRE component "research quantum" will be cut relative to a projected inscrease as will so called facilitation funds. The research quantum are government funds for research provided to the universities partly based on their research performance that are similar to the overhead component in US grants. When you submit a grant application to the ARC here in Australia you do not include overheads in your proposal. This doesn't mean that the university doesn't earn overhead on successful grants. It's just done indirectly with a time lag. This is somewhat good news as the cuts are smaller than rumored and don't affect individuals applying for grants.

In total these cuts are estimated to cost ANU at least $3.4 million in 2013 and $8.1 million in 2014. 

More from The Australian here.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

ORCID is Now Open for Registration

I wrote about ORCID - a global system of free unique researcher IDs - more than a year ago. You can finally now register for ORCID and I just signed up and linked my data from my Scopus profile. Actually, it was Scopus' home page that alerted me to the possibility of getting an ORCID ID. Hopefully, this will really take off and allow the easy identification of researchers and their track records. Especially, those with common names like S. Liu or D. Stern.*

* D. I. Stern is a unique academic name but not all my publications or citations have both initials and David and Daniel Stern are very common names. This non-academic David I. Stern is pretty prominent too and I did find one David Ian Stern in Texas.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Journal Page Numbers are Disappearing

The UK-based Royal Society is dropping page numbers from its journal articles as it goes to the continuous publication model. This includes some of the oldest academic journals in existence.

I expect this trend to spread across academic publishing. The current situation with articles languishing in "online first" or "Articles in press" sections of journals for months or years (as in the example of my recent paper in Journal of Economic Surveys) before being included in a formal journal issue and being given a full citation is silly. I've read that journals do this to try to game citation impact factors, but I'm skeptical of that. It seems just to be conservatism to stick to the print production model when most access is now online.

Of course, some journals like Journal of Geophysical Research have been publishing articles with just article identifiers for more than a decade now and others like PLoS ONE started as pure online journals without page numbers.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

ARC Funding Freeze

There has been a lot of uncertainty recently about what is happening with research funding in Australia. There have been no announcements on when the next application rounds will open and around now the results of the ARC Discovery grant applications from earlier this year for funding next year should have been announced. The federal government has promised to deliver a budget surplus and was rumoured to be looking at cutting anything they could to achieve the goal. We got some information yesterday at a Senate hearing, where the ARC CEO - former ANU Dean of Science Aiden Byrne - and the minister both were questioned. We were told that there has been a funding freeze in place since August. It looks like that we might have more certainty after MYEFO or "minibudget", which will be released on Monday. But it also looks like that not as much funding will be available in the near future as there has been in the recent past.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Per Capita Energy Use in the UK

The history of energy use per capita is quite different in the UK compared to other developed countries. Already by 1800 about 3/4 of UK energy use was coal as the UK was the first country to industrialize. Energy use per capita peaks before the First World War and never really "recovers". In most other countries there was a very strong growth of energy use between the end of the Second World War and the oil price shocks in the 1970s.

This data is a rough estimate of "final energy use". The energy in electricity consumed is included in the data and the energy used to produce the electricity is deducted. Currently, electricity generation is about 40% efficient in the UK, meaning that 60% of the energy used to generate electricity is lost as waste heat. There are also about 7% losses of electricity in the transmission and distribution system.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Energy Cost Share for England and Wales

Astrid Kander is visiting me to work on our ARC project. One paper we are working on is a comparison of Sweden and the United Kingdom. One of the our stylized facts on the relationship between energy and growth is that the share of energy in total production cost declines over time. This is very clear in the data from Sweden. But up till now, we've had very limited evidence for other countries. So we are putting together a comparable data set for England and Wales. The results are quite similar though less dramatic:
There are quite a lot of "kinks" in this data to be ironed out still, so this is very preliminary. We plan to fit the same model as we fitted to the Swedish data in our Energy Journal paper to this data too and then compare the results.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

2012 US EIA Annual Energy Review

The EIA's Annual Energy Review was published a few days ago. This is a fantastic "one stop shop" overview of US energy data. The graphics are particularly good. However, like last year's report it is only US data. From last year, the AER dropped coverage of international data, though the EIA website still provides access to it.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Job Opportunity with the ICRC

Jack Gregory, who did a master research essay with me, which we now turned into this working paper, asked me to help find someone for this position:

We are currently looking for a recent grad to join the team at the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission (the Commission):

The Commission is a statutory body set up to regulate prices, access to infrastructure services and other matters in relation to regulated industries (incl. water and electricity). Essentially, we are the economic regulator for the ACT.

Regarding the position, the key skills we are looking for are:

  • A background in economics, the environment or public policy;
  • A person with strong research and writing skills, capable of contributing discrete components to larger reports;
  • A person with above average skills in MS Excel and Word; and,
  • A person willing to learn on the job as well as possessing strong self-initiative and teamwork skills.

The position and salary will be commensurate with the successful applicant’s skills.  It will be at an ASO level, which is equivalent to the APS levels in the federal public service. Initially, we are looking for someone on a three to six month contract with the possibility of an extension.

Please visit for more information about the Commission or contact Jack on:

Phone - (02) 6205 8773

Email -