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I am currently working at a university of applied sciences, in the field of Computer Science. Recently there has been formed a section that is in charge of giving stipends related to research. This group has put as a rule that they will only fund research that is indexed in Scimago and in Scopus, but that this could change over time. They have in mind that this would help the institution for increase their visibility in terms of research.

My question is, for our field, should there be other criteria considered, such as if the publication has been indexed in ACM, IEEE Xplore, or DBLP? I mean, there are some conferences that are not considered in Scimago or in Scopus, but that have a good reputation. How to propose that change? What do you think about considering these indexing venues also?

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    This seems like a horrible rule. In Computer Science, any of ACM, IEEE, and especially DBLP are more useful for judging the seriousness of research than Scimago or Scopus. That being said, any strict rule you put out that takes the form of "X units of money for Y publications of a certain type" is likely to lead to gaming of the system rather than great research impact. – xLeitix Jan 29 '15 at 13:49
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    Another huge problem with this kind of rule is that publication rates (papers per researcher per year) and citation rates of papers vary dramatically between disciplines. It may be appropriate to use these measurements to compare two researchers in the same discipline, but nto across discisplines. – Brian Borchers Jan 29 '15 at 14:59
  • If you have any experimental particle physics group, as @BrianBorchers says, you may as well give up; those guys publish 300 papers per year. – Davidmh Jan 30 '15 at 10:24
  • @xLeitix thank you for your comment, sorry for asking, but do you have in mind any study that could backup it? I am starting the fight to make them to consider this indexing sites and I need all the help available – Layla Feb 2 '15 at 14:16
  • @Layla I am not aware of any study, but look at attempts like CORE (core.edu.au), which classifies computer science research for Australia, and cross-check how many of the things rated A*, A or B in CORE are not even listed in Scopus. If you accept as a premise that the people behind CORE are not complete morons it should be easy to deduct that Scopus may be a tad incomplete for computer science. Edit: ah, one of the answers mentions CORE anyway. – xLeitix Feb 2 '15 at 14:30
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Computer science is typically badly under-represented in the "traditional" citation indices, which do not consider conferences to be peer-reviewed publications. As any computer scientist knows, that is a bad joke: many computer science conferences are much more stiffly reviewed and difficult to enter than most journals.

It is for this reason that DBLP was created, to actually index relevant and reputable computer science publications. I believe that DBLP should cover everything in ACM DL and IEEE Xplore, so getting just that accepted by the university should be sufficient.

Unfortunately, what you are seeing is another instance of a long-running and frequently waged fight. Take heart, however, that this fight has already been won at most top institutions, and can be won at yours as well.

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In addition to jakebeal's answer, let me address the "How to propose that change?" question.

Surely the requirement to have work indexed at Scimago and Scopus was instantiated to have some "measurable" guideline -- the initiators of the project probably wanted to avoid any discussions on what papers should count and what shouldn't later. While this is understandable, it has the problems of (1) giving people an incentive to game the system, and (2) keep people away from supporting new publication venues that are not yet on a list.

So all you can do is to have them make the list of acceptable publication venues as inclusive as reasonably possible - and you will need to follow their "visibility in terms of research" line of thought to have strong arguments. Here is one idea for doing so, although it means a lot of work.

  1. Check how many venues that are not already in Scimago and Scopus have been used to present research that was mentioned in connection with the Turing medal. Surely, if venues that had such an impact are missing, your request for making the list more inclusive would be reasonable.

  2. There is a CORE conference ranking - Quite a lot of effort has been put into assembling it and it is or was used somehow for research funding allocation in Australia (someone else may know more about that). While such rankings are not unproblematic (and this one is based on the Australian perspective), publications in conferences ranked "A" in this list should surely count. If you find some conferences on the list that are ranked A and are not indexed in Scopus or Scimago, but are indexed on DBLP, this makes a reasonably strong case for the inclusion of DBLP.

You may also need to provide evidence that conference papers are so important for computer science. I think that publications on this matter have been mentioned here at academia.stackexchange, so you should also be able to find them.


On a related note, I'm not sure if all IEEE Explore publications are indexed by DBLP. There used to be quite a significant lag between IEEE Xplore publication and addition to DBLP (>6 months), which is very late if the data is to be used for scholarship allocation. Also, IEEE Xplore used to contain proceedings of some "spamferences", but they may have kicked them out in the meantime.

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