Harzing.com blog 2 years old!

Celebrating my blog's second anniversary with the top-15 most read blogs

I started blogging on the 18th of March 2016. So this week I am celebrating my blog's second anniversary. The second year saw 43 postings, i.e. a little less than the first year, but still nearly one a week. Not bad! It is unlikely that I can keep up this schedule, but I will certainly try to keep posting regularly.

Top-15 most popular blogposts

So what were the most popular posts in terms of page views? Well... on the first place with head and shoulders above the rest was a post that wasn't even written by me, introducing Publish or Perish version 5. In the meantime, we have released Publish or Perish version 6, leading to the second most popular blogpost this year. If you haven't updated your PoP version 4 or 5 yet, please do so as soon as possible.

The top-15 most popular blogposts by my own hand mainly fell in four categories: Key academic worries, Academic Etiquette, Data sources for citation analysis, most notable Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic, and topics related to Publish or Perish and Citation Analysis

What are academics worried about?

Just like last year the top most read post was about staying sane in academia. Two other 2016 blogposts relating to publishing your work also made it to the top-10. They were joined by a very recent blogpost that clearly hit a nerve: making your case for impact if you only have a few citations.

How to prevent burn-out? About staying sane in academia
Provides twelve suggestions on how to prevent burn-out and keep your sanity

Why does my paper get a desk-reject time and again?
About the importance of joining the journal’s “conversation”

Strange journal invitations popping up in my inbox every day
Discusses the phenomenon of predatory open access journals

Making your case for impact if you have few citations
Provides advice on strategies to demonstrate impact with a very low citation level

Academic Etiquette

Two blogposts that dealt with ways to address academics, either as a student or as a fellow academic were also popular. I was particularly pleased that my slightly provocative post on the demands put on female academics made it into the top-15 again. However, the other Academic Etiquette posts such as Thank You: The most underused words in academia? and Please be polite and considerate and Last impressions count too! The importance of conclusions are also worth a read. While on the topic, let me also point out that our CYGNA network - a London-based network for female academics - is still going strong.

Would you ask a male academic the same question?
Discusses the expectations of service-oriented behaviour by female academics


How to address other academics by email?
Provides suggestions on the best way to address academics by email

How to address your lecturer?
Shows how countries differ in their expected way of address for teachers

Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic

Just like last year two key blogposts about using Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic as an alternative to commercial databases such as Scopus and the Web of Science were very popular. Not surprisingly the cautionary blogposts about Google Scholar's flaws also drew a big audience. Please note that Publish or Perish version 6 has a wide range of new data sources.

Google Scholar is a serious alternative to Web of Science
Argues that Google Scholar needs to be treated as a serious alternative data source for citation analysis

Is Google Scholar flawless? Of course not!
Reviews the major limitations of Google Scholar


Microsoft Academic (Search): a Phoenix arisen from the ashes?
Assesses Microsoft Academic coverage through a detailed comparison with Google Scholar, the Web of Science, and Scopus

Publish or Perish and Citation Analysis

Three new blogposts this year also made it to the top-15, all dealing with the use of citation analysis to analyse research performance.

Citation analysis: Tips for Deans and other administrators
Provides recommendations for Deans and senior administrators for fair and equitable research evaluation



The mystery of the phantom reference: a detective story
Short summary of white paper that shows how sloppy writing and sloppy quality control lead to a non-existing article being cited nearly 400 times

Running the REF on a rainy Sunday afternoon: Do metrics match peer review?
Short summary of white paper that proposes replacing the REF with a metrics-based exercise