Tan Chun Tuan Centennial Professor Donald Paul shares his insights on publication of research in the future and metrics of impact.

24 July 2013

Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Professorship Public Lecture on research publication and metrics of impact

Prof Donald R Paul, delivering his last public lecture as Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Professor at NUS Engineering.

HOW is a researcher assessed? Would it be through the number of papers the researcher has published in high-impact journals? Or by the number of times his papers were cited?

At the Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Professorship Public Lecture delivered by Professor Donald R Paul, where he discussed and summarised current and emerging trends in publishing research, these issues formed the bulk of the discussion during the Q&A session. His lecture, entitled “Publication of Research in the Future and Metrics of Impact” (19 July) held at the Engineering Auditorium, marked the last of his lectures as Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Professor at NUS, hosted by the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering.

In answer to the questions, Professor Paul said there may be no “mandates” laid down for the evaluation process but in some countries like the UK, a large part of the exercise would be to assess the quality of work -- not the journals the papers were published in.

The public lecture ended with a lively Q&A session.

Society relies on the literature to build new products, processes and procedures to advance new knowledge without excessive repetition of what has already been done. In recent times, tools have emerged to gauge the impact of publications, said Professor Paul. Thus, journal impact factors, citations, h-indices, and even downloads have become metrics used in establishing the stature of researchers and their institutions as well as for evaluation of university faculty.