Research Remix

June 28, 2012

Tell the NIH you want datasets and impact metrics in NIH biosketches

Filed under: Uncategorized — Heather Piwowar @ 8:29 am

The NIH wants to hear your thoughts on how it should modify its biosketch format.  RFI comments are due very soon: FRIDAY JUNE 29th 2012, midnight EDT.

The request for information is wide open, but specifically includes a request for input “from the biomedical research community to determine if the Biosketch should be modified to allow investigators to include a short explanation of their most important scientific contributions.”  

For those who don’t know, a biosketch is how investigators provide CV information in grant proposals, and is “used by the reviewers in the assessment of each individual’s qualifications for a specific role in the proposed project, as well as to evaluate the overall qualifications of the research team.” source

This is a great opportunity!  Right now the NIH biosketch instructions only include peer-reviewed articles in the publication section, and only provides impact signalling through journal titles.  Inclusion of nontraditional research products in NIH biosketches, and the opportunity to give the research products context through impact metrics, would be a very important signal and incentive for rich scholarship.   (Note: NSF biosketch instructions need the same overhaul.)

Here are my three suggestions:

  1. explicitly encourage the inclusion of all types of research output as publications, including software and datasets
  2. explicitly welcome indications of impact, like citation, download and bookmarking counts
  3. consider requiring that article are identified only by authors, title, and ID/url, not journal

Add your voice to the call for revision:   here’s the form.  It doesn’t need to take long: just pop over and chip in your vote for change.

I understand that the group receiving these responses is indeed empowered to make changes.  Which implies that is not always true?  sigh.  Anyway, it is true this time, so run over and write something!

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