Publication Data FAQ

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How is data about new publications collected?

We automate multiple and redundant searches across several citation databases (e.g. Scopus, Web of Science, Google Scholar, PubMed, etc) effectively as a “race” to see which platform indexes new publications and pushes out alerts the fastest. We also appreciate updates to when new papers are published.

How accurate and comprehensive is this tracking process?

Journals are variously indexed by citation databases, so results from citation databases are typically not uniform or perfectly consistent. As a result, we know that no single bank of publication is comprehensive, which means there is a persistent possibility (and liklihood) that some publications might “fall through the cracks” of our surveillance.

If we are missing a publication by you, please let us know at Identifying missing items helps us fine-tune our search parameters and “data crawlers” to take new sources into account.

How quickly will my new paper be identified?

We search citation databases that, themselves, scrape and index journal databases, so there is a variable lag time or latency between, say, an article “going live” in a journal before subsequent cataloguing in a citation database. Depending on the database, this lag can range from days to months. Please feel free to alert when you have a new paper published, so we can index it immediately.

What publications do you have on record for me or my School?

You can request a dynamicly generated, automated report at anytime. An active login to your Western Office 365 account is required.


How is this publication data used by the Faculty of Health Sciences?

We use publication citation information and metadata

  • to monitor and analyze citation database propogation and reach
  • as a backbone dataset for impact and scholarship reporting
  • for generating dynamic Twitter and social media updates
  • to generate research stories and initiate other communication workflows
  • to help our Schools and units keep up-to-date with internal activity across teams
  • for identifying opportunities to initiate knowledge mobilization processes
  • to follow up with FHS-affiliated researchers to support knowledge mobilization
  • to support our Faculty members in CV updates and other reporting requirements

What do you mean by “VOR date” and “INDEX date”?

We define the “publication date” of new articles based on the date of their first release or Version of Record (VOR) date. Typically, this will be the date that the article was first posted publicly, described variously as “ahead of print” or “early access” — which is not necessarily the same as the journal's issue publication date.

Journals can, on occasion, wait for a year or more between the first online release and “official issue publication” of new articles, depending on their publication cycles and frequencies. Therefore, it is important to note that the purpose of this system is approximate something closer to “real time” publication monitoring: it is not meant to duplicate “retroactive” scholarship reporting that could, say, be compiled from CVs, over longer time horizons.

For this reason, some citation details (specific volume and issue details, for example) might not be included for some publications, as such information may or may not be available at the time of cataloguing.

To enable multiple reporting matrices, we track two dates per article: the VOR date (Version of Record, as described above) and the INDEX date (the day the publication is catalogued in our database). Importantly, we use INDEX dates to generate day-to-day or month-to-month reports. Therefore, “Monthly Report” for us means “articles that we have identified and catalogued in the past month,” which does not necessarily mean the article was released or published by the journal in the past month.