At the beginning of June, Clarivate Analytics, vendor of the Impact database Web of Science, among others, informed about the launch of the Publisher Analytics Report. The press release mentions the following features prominently:
- “The ready-to-use reports provide a snapshot of journals’ performance and inform competitor analysis. They will help publishers to easily plan robust, evidence-based strategies, based on the publisher-independent”.
- “the report includes information on publication output, Journal Impact Factor trends, contributing countries, organisations and funders, and article-level citation analysis”
- “The report benchmarks a journal’s published papers and explores the fate of the papers it rejects. It is designed to identify opportunities for new journals and journal sections and to help journals stakeholders better understand the influence of editorial decisions.”
Remarkably, the market and competition metaphor, which I had previously noticed from the benchmarking of scientists, is now being applied to journals and publishers. This means that the data sources on the basis of which scientists were evaluated are now suddenly evaluated themselves. This, in turn, points to the loss of relevance of the classic publication business in favour of the benchmarking and research intelligence business, which I have repeatedly expected.
Surprisingly data on rejection rates are included in the reports. I am puzzling at the moment where this information might come from, perhaps from publons. Less surprising is the same choice of words when it comes to evoking competition between scientists on the one hand and publishers on the other, e.g. “competitor” or “strategy”.