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Drive to Twenty Five Citations: Thomson Reuters InCites plan

Citations: Thomson Reuters InCites plan (draft)

2030 goal

Increase the quality and quantity of citations from WSU

  • There are only two approaches to assessing research impact that should be considered.
    • The traditional approach, sometimes called bibliometrics, quantifies journal citations and is represented by the WSU metric and similar measures (e.g., Google Scholar). Bibliometrics are useful for the hard and social sciences, but generally inadequate for arts and humanities.
    • Altmetrics have recently emerged that capture other forms of references to research, scholarship, and creative output (e.g., via blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter activity, media exposure, etc.). Altmetrics, in principle, could enable the University to measure items such as artistic engagement with increased rigor.
  • The working group assumes a need to determine an appropriate ranking comparison for this D25 metric. In contrast to many of the D25 metrics, which are tracked by the Center for Measuring University Report (CMUP), the citations metric is not captured by CMUP.
  • Compared to other goals that may have a revenue generating dimension, increased citations will be primarily, if not entirely, a cost center for WSU.
  • Pursuit of the D25 citations goal will require combined and coordinated efforts from WSU academic units, as well as administrative units.
Recommendations focus on 2 major areas
  • Improved institutional support of faculty to increase impact of their research
  • Improved measurement of faculty research impact

WSU tracks the average H-index per faculty as part of the strategic planning process. Based on this evidence:

  • WSU is behind the University’s strategic planning peers, but not as far behind compared with other AAU metrics
  • Data from National Taiwan University finds that WSU ranks at #67 in comparison to Michigan State University, ranked at #25
5 recommendations
  • Increase quantity and quality of publications at WSU.
    • Action 1.1: Improve the “culture of support” for WSU’s researchers.
    • Action 1.2: Assess the importance of publication quality and quantity in pursuit of WSU’s research goals and in comparison to peers.
  • Develop a short-term plan (CY 2018) for immediate implementation to increase citations per the AAU metric.
    • Action 2.1: Standardize key faculty and publication data that can enhance citations.
    • Action 2.2: Invest central resources to support dissemination of published research.
    • Action 2.3: Create a culture of research dissemination by developing a communication plan and support to enhance dissemination of faculty’s published research.
  • Identify longer-term strategies (CY2018-2020), as well as associated infrastructure and research support needs, to further increase WSU’s citations (per the AAU metric).
    • Action 3.1: Develop a process to better recognize faculty leading their field in terms of impactful research.
    • Action 3.2: Determine the impact of pursuing increased citations in relation to other D25 goals and research goals of the institution.
    • Action 3.3: Develop a comprehensive plan with appropriate resources to bring new research to the attention of the WSU community and external media sooner than later.
  • Identify and define multiple citation metrics and measurement.
    • Action 4.1: Select between one of three alternate approaches to obtaining citations data and defining our peers for this metric.
    • Action 4.2: Define additional citation-based metrics (based on appropriate data) to assess the impact of WSU’s research.
  • Develop WSU’s approach to the role of altmetrics in assessing other dimensions of research impact.
    • Action 5.1: Assess WSU’s approach to altmetrics during 2018.

The RC will develop specific metrics to support achievement of the overall citations goal. Examples for metrics to be considered by the RC include:

  • Number of WSU faculty with an ORCID ID.
  • Number of publications submitted annually to the WSU Research Exchange.
  • Number of WSU publications for the year in Web of Science.
  • Once metric and source are identified, public university publication/citation ranking.
Expected outcomes, fiscal years 2018-2020
  • Growth in WSU’s performance on research citations for calendar year 2018-2020
Expected longer-term outcomes
  • Continued growth in WSU’s performance on research citations

Working group members


Christopher Keane
Office of Research

David Sprott
Carson College of Business

Gil Picciotto
WSU Foundation

Keith Moo-Young
Office of the Chancellor, WSU Tri-Cities

Sasi Pillay
Information Technology Services

Phil Weiler 
University Marketing and Communications

Planning and integration teams

Talea Anderson

Tammy Barry
Department of Psychology

Derek Brown
Office of Research

BJ Carlson
Carson College of Business

Scott Connors
Department of Marketing and International Business

James Downes
Institutional Research

Suzanne Fricke
Animal Health Sciences

Rita Fuchs Lockensgard
Department of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience

Jacob Leachman
School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Sarah Mahaffy
Office of Research

Dorrie Main
Department of Horticulture

Sue McMurray
Carson College of Business

Sterling McPherson
College of Nursing, WSU Spokane

Squeak Meisel
Department of Fine Arts

Brianna Murphy
Office of Research

Lorena O’English

Andrew Perkins
Center for Behavioral Business Research

Nathan Roberts
Carson College of Business

Kiara Seguine
Carson College of Business

Eric Sorensen
University Marketing and Communications

Juming Tang
Department of Biological Systems Engineering

Greg Yasinitsky
School of Music


Full report

Read the working group report