Reflections on the first issue of QSS

Quantitative Science Studies was launched on January 14, 2019 following the collective resignation of the Editorial Board from the Elsevier-owned Journal of Informetrics. Thirteen months later, the journal released its first full issue, featuring 17 regular research articles as well as a special issue on bibliographic data sources. The journal continues in full swing, with more than a dozen articles in early view and two special issues nearing completion. 

The first issue includes an inaugural editorial jointly authored by the leadership of the journal and the Society which documents the history of the journal flip. The editorial discusses the birth of Journal of Informetrics, the collective resignation of the editorial board of JOI, and the founding of Quantitative Science Studies in partnership with MIT Press. The editorial emphasizes the values of openness and equity espoused by QSS and how our journal practices demonstrate these values. It is also a call to action for other societies to follow the lead of ISSI and act in the service of their communities and the broader scholarly ecosystem.

The research articles in the first issue cover the gamut of topics within scientometrics—open access, career trajectories, research funding, author disambiguation, research evaluation, interdisciplinarity, and indicators are included along with several other familiar and emerging topics. The authorship list demonstrates the global characteristic of our community: authors in the first issue are from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Considering the articles in early view, one could add Australia, China, Spain, New Zealand, and Switzerland to that list. The authorship profile is a testament to the widespread appeal of the journal, and support for the principles on which it is based.  

A special issue on bibliographic data sources was published in tandem with the first issue. This special issue was unique in that it brought together providers of data to provide unprecedented descriptions of their data.  The data sources ranged from those that are well-known within the field (e.g., Web of Science, Scopus) to emerging players (Dimensions, Microsoft Academic, Crossref, and Open Citations), with an emphasis on their coverage and access modalities. This contribution is both a valuable resource for the field and a demonstration of the growing partnerships of the community with new service providers.

The International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics is proud to have QSS as the official journal of the Society. We are grateful for our publishing partner, MIT Press, for their willingness to work with us to ensure that meet all our goals for transparency and access. We are indebted to our partners, Technishe Informationsbibliothek and the Fair Open Access Alliance, who have helped us to ensure that we provide equitable access to both readers and authors.

I would also like to express my personal appreciation for our editorial leadership: Vincent Lariviere served as the interim Editor-in-Chief before the position was assumed by Ludo Waltman (former EiC of JOI). These two individuals have done tremendous work in managing the work of restarting a journal. I would like to thank our Associate Editor, Stasa Milojevic, particularly for her labor on a special issue that bridges the quantitative and qualitative divide. Lastly, I would like to thank our editorial board and our community, for their willingness to take a risk on this initiative. I hope that the success of this endeavor serves to inspire other scientific societies.


About the author

Cassidy R. Sugimoto

Cassidy Sugimoto is Professor at the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University Bloomington. She researches within the domain of scholarly communication and scientometrics, examining the formal and informal ways in which knowledge producers consume and disseminate scholarship. She has edited and co-edited four books and has published numerous journal articles on this topic. Her work has been presented at numerous conferences and has received research funding from the US National Science Foundation, Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the Sloan Foundation, among other agencies. Cassidy is actively involved in teaching and service and has been rewarded in these areas with an Indiana University Trustees Teaching award (2014) and a national service award from the Association for Information Science and Technology (2009). She served as the President of the faculty at Indiana University in 2015-2016 and is currently serving as President of the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics. Cassidy has an undergraduate degree in music performance, an M.S. in library science, and a Ph.D. in information and library science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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