Much like keeping a ball in the air without using your hands/arms, it can feel like it requires constant effort and concentration to stay up-to-date with the latest research literature in your area. In this post we’ll look at some of the useful tools that are out there to help make this that little bit easier.
An introduction to bibliometrics for researchers by Vicky Wallace, Subject Advisor, Library Services
Have you ever heard the term bibliometrics? Bibliometrics can be described as a means of measuring the impact of a given publication by looking at the number of times subsequent authors have cited that publication.
Bibliometrics can be applied at various levels, including:
Author level (e.g. the h-index)
Article level (e.g. altmetrics)
Journal level (e.g. impact factor)
There are philosophical questions about the merits of using a citation as a measure of impact. Ask yourself the question of why you cite papers in your work, is it for positive or negative reasons, are you building on a researchers work, criticising it, or acknowledging their contribution to a field? Also, citation patterns vary across disciplines, with some areas having numerous co-authors and citing prolifically, and other areas citing fewer papers and having more sole authors. Nevertheless, bibliometrics are often used as a quantitative measure to determine the impact of researchers, research groups, departments and institutions, although this is often tempered by using peer review alongside them to bring in a qualitative element. Continue reading “Bibliometrics for researchers”