A decade of Publications in the field of scholarly communication

Minh-Hieu Thi Nguyen
Faculty of Management and Tourism, Hanoi University (Nam Tu Liem District, Hanoi, 100000, Vietnam)

April 1, 2023

The journal Publications has been in service for a decade. On this occasion, Tamara Heck (Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education, Germany), Dirk Tunger (TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences, Germany), and Marc Rittberger (Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences, Germany) conducted a bibliometric analysis to gain insight into for evaluating the journal’s progress and its contribution to the intended scope and goals [1]. The research examined various factors, such as the journal’s overall output, authors, and the covered topics.

From 2013 to July 2022, Publications contributed 322 documents in 10 volumes to the field of scholarly communication, with more than 71% of its papers published in the last five years. Its contribution was not only limited to the sheer publication number but also came from the knowledge’s multidiscipline, the topics’ diversity, and the authors’ internationality.

Documents published in the journal were created based on a large and multidisciplinary pool of knowledge. The journal contained 15,171 references, of which many were from prestigious and interdisciplinary journals. In particular, the most cited journals by Publications’s documents were Scientometrics (103 papers), Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST) (99), Nature (75), Publications (83), PLoS One (75), and Science (63). Meanwhile, Publications’s also contributed significantly to knowledge generation in the field, with a total of 1687 citations received from 705 different sources. Top sources citing the journal include Publications (197 citations), Scientometrics (91), Sustainability (50), Learned Publishing (44), and JASIST (19). Significant references and citations show strong connections between Publications and other journals in the broader information and library science field.

Compared to the first five years, the topics in the later five years of Publications became substantially more diverse. The number of specific terms that occur at least twice increased from 31 to 141, with the appearance of new terms like open science, scholarly communication, social media, and fake news. Despite the topical expansion in the last five years, open access remained the journal’s most pivotal topic, with 41 occurrences.

The bibliometric analysis also shows that the author network for Publications has become increasingly international, with over 600 contributing authors originating from 59 countries. The United States (64 documents), Spain (51), Germany (38), the United Kingdom (37), and Italy (18) were the five countries with the highest number of contributing documents. Collaborations have grown significantly since the journal’s operation, especially in the past five years. Within this collaboration network, SM3D Portal’s Quan-Hoang Vuong held the highest link strength score of 16, with four documents (ranked second after Yongyan Li with five papers), indicating a strong level of collaboration with other authors in the network (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Authors with the highest collaboration level within the journal. Retrieved from [1].

The findings on the growth and evolution of the journal’s authors, citations, and references demonstrated that Publications is an international multidisciplinary journal exploring scholarly communication, publishing, and research related. The study of Heck et al. [1] also confirmed that the journal had established itself as a valuable source for multidisciplinary research and serves as a platform for connecting diverse stakeholders and research communities. However, some important topics of scholarly research and publishing seemed to be off the radar, such as the cost of science, societal impact measurement, retractions, financing systems for reviewers, and early-career researchers (ECRs) [2-6].


[1] Heck T, Tunger D, Rittberger M. (2023). Scholarly communication over a decade of publications. Publications, 11(1), 16.

[2] Vuong QH. (2018). The (ir)rational consideration of the cost of science in transition economies. Nature Human Behaviour, 2, 5.

[3] Woolston C. (2023). Measuring societal impact: how to go beyond standard publication metrics. Nature, 614, 375-377.

[4] Vuong QH. (2020). Reform retractions to make them more transparent. Nature, 582, 149.

[5] Brainard J. (2021). The $450 question: Should journals pay peer reviewers? Science.

[6] Berenbaum MR. (2019). Impact factor impacts on early-career scientist careers. PNAS, 116(34), 16659-16662.