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Bibliometrics

When we talk about ‘Bibliometrics’ we refer to the quantitative measures used to assess research output i.e. publication and citation data analysis.

Citations are generally considered to be a useful indication of a paper’s impact and value to the wider scientific research community.

Staff note: Symplectic derives citation count from Web of Science and Scopus and will only apply to publications records from those sources.

click here to access Web of Scienceclick here to access Scopus

N.B. Google Scholar is a free alternative that has broader coverage but also lacks the quality control of WoS and Scopus It is important to note that citation data from each source may vary.

Quantitative measures provide just one part of the picture.  They should only be used where it is appropriate to do so and with an understanding that it is extremely difficult to compare across disciplines without taking into account a discipline's publication and citation patterns.

The main citation tools may not offer the ability to produce appropriate and accurate metrics in Humanities, Engineering and Computer Science which are less dependent on journals when compared to other disciplines. The coverage of areas within the Social Sciences is also limited in a number of tools.

The h-index is a popular metric in the sciences and is used to assess an individual, group of individuals or an institution. The h-index (a single number) takes into account productivilty (paper count) AND impact (citations). If an individual has a h-index of 7, this means that 7 of their papers have been cited at least 7 times each.

A word of caution: As with other key metrics, the h-index can only be used effectively by comparing like with like, for example: similar institutions, individuals in a similar discipline and at a similar stage in their career. The calculation will also depend on the tool used.

STAFF note: Symplectic derives h-index from Web of Science and Scopus and will only apply to publication records from those sources.

h-index

H-index is calculated by both Web of Science and Scopus.

click here to access Web of Scienceclick here to access Scopus

N.B. Google Scholar is a free alternative that has broader coverage but also lacks the quality control of WoS and Scopus It is important to note that citation data from each source may vary.

For more information on available citation databases see here

Quantitative measures provide just one part of the picture.  They should only be used where it is appropriate to do so and with an understanding that it is extremely difficult to compare across disciplines without taking into account a discipline's publication and citation patterns.

It is also widely acknowledged that the main citation tools do not offer the ability to produce appropriate and accurate metrics in Humanities, Engineering and Computer Science which are less dependent on journals when compared to other disciplines. The coverage of areas within the Social Sciences is also limited in a number of tools.

As scholarly communication moves increasingly online, more indicators have become available: how many times an article has been bookmarked, blogged about, cited in Wikipedia and so on. These metrics can be considered altmetrics – alternative metrics of impact. (Piwowar 2013)

Altmetrics are still in their infancy but are likely to become increasingly significant as online research infrastructure matures.

STAFF note: Symplectic Elements tracks altmetrics via http://www.altmetric.com/ for any record that includes a Digital Object Identifier (DOI).

Look out for the altmetric "donut" on your records in Symplectic:

Journal rankings enable you to find out which journals have the most impact and influence in a particular discipline.

The main journal ranking tools are: Journal Citation Reports (JCR), part of the Web of Science database from Thomson Reuters. These reports rank journals by the Journal Impact Factor (JIF), which is a popular way of identifying the most highly cited journals in a given field. It is derived from the average number of citations to articles in the journal over the preceding 2 years (Thomson Reuters, 1994). The JCR are available in Science and Social Science disciplines.

There is some debate about the validity of impact factor which many argue has a distorting influence on science. JIF is also arguably less important as article level metrics become more prominent, partly as a result of scholarly communication moving increasingly online to an Open Access model (Antelman, 2004).

Journal Analyzer from Scopus allows you to search for data from individual journal titles or compare journals by discipline. It has 2 journal ranking tools which use different methodologies. SCImago calculates using citations from Scopus over the previous 3 years and gives more weight to citations from highly ranked journals.

SNIP (Source Normalized Impact per Paper) normalises for subject differences to contextualise the number of citations in a given field.

SCR and SNIP are also freely available on the web: http://www.journalmetrics.com/ Other tools include Publish or Perish which analyses data from Google Scholar: http://www.harzing.com/pop.htm

For more information about journal ranking see Module 3 of the MyRI tutorial 

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