Bibliometrics at the University Library
Our bibliometrics service can, essentially, be divided into two parts: bibliometrics information and bibliometrics analyses.
Information ranges from participating in seminars where we discuss the meaning of bibliometrics, the types of analyses that can be conducted, how bibliometrics is used for evaluation and its research policy context, to giving advice to researchers who wish to know how to approach requests to specify the h-index in applications for research funds. Furthermore, we also contribute with comments on external analyses of research at Lund University as well as advice in relation to the acquisition and use of tools for bibliometric analyses.
Analysis comprises everything from publication and citation analyses as a basis for decisions concerning the allocation of funds on behalf of, for example, faculty management, through additional analyses of external evaluations of research projects connected to Lund University, to surveys of research collaborations commissioned by research groups prior to evaluation or as part of the preparation for collaboration with, or visits to, other higher education institutions.
Bibliometrics and evaluation of research
Bibliometrics is increasingly used for the evaluation of research and the allocation of research funds. Many of the international university rankings that have attracted attention in recent years are at least partly built on the use of bibliometric indicators. Currently in Sweden, 10 per cent of government funding for higher education institutions is allocated partly on the basis of how much external funding the higher education institutions have acquired and partly on the number of research publications they have published and to what extent these have been cited by other researchers.
At Lund University, research funds for the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Faculty of Science, for example, are allocated on the basis of publication and/or citation analyses. Also, research funders increasingly demand bibliometrical statistics from researchers in their announcements of research grants.
- Journal Impact Factor measures the average number of citations for articles in a journal.
- h-index indicates the number of publications cited a specific number of times.
- In Norway, funds are allocated according to the number of publications, taking the type of publication into account – books, anthology chapters and journal articles are awarded different “pointsˮ – but also the status of the publishing house or journal in which the text was published (the so-called “Norwegian listˮ).
Calculations can also be based on many different data sources: in the Web of Science databases, journal articles are indexed along with their references, which means that citation calculations can be made; publication databases such as LUP can be used to make calculations of different types of publications; and even Google Scholar can be used to retrieve statistics on how many times a publication or an author has been cited. In the case of Google Scholar, you have to be extra careful in interpreting the figures since the quality of Google's citation data may vary.
However, bibliometrics is not only about evaluating research by measuring productivity reflected in the number of publications and impact shown by the number of citations. Depending on the availability of data, but also on how different research fields are organised, bibliometrics can be used to analyse different structures within research and research fields. For example, through information on authors’ addresses, research collaboration can be mapped at the individual, organisational and national level. Based on how authors or journals occur together in reference lists, different research specialisations can be mapped within a field.
The different methods measure different aspects of publications and citations. They vary in degree of complexity and requirements on available data and there are also vast differences in the extent to which an indicator may be suitable for comparing publications from different research fields, for example, or whether it is at all useful for analysing publications from a particular field. Furthermore, there are vast differences between different data sources, both in terms of content and the quality of how the content is described and analysed.
Please contact us if you have any question regarding bibliometrics and we will be happy to help you!
publicera [at] lub.lu.se
What is bibliometrics?
Bibliometrics is a compound of the Greek word biblio (book) and metron (measurement, tool for measuring). Bibliometrics is the study of science and research with the help of mathematical and statistical methods. With a basis in publication and citation data, bibliometric indicators can help to shed light on issues of productivity, impact and influence, as well as social and intellectual structures in various areas of research.