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A classification of the use of research indicators

  • Joost Kosten 


Research performance
indicators are broadly used, for a range of purposes. The scientific
literature on research indicators has a strong methodological focus.
There is no comprehensive overview or classification of the use of such
indicators. In this paper we give such a classification of research
indicator use. Using the journal Scientometrics
as a starting point we scrutinized recent journal literature on
scientometrics, bibliometrics, research policy, research evaluation, and
higher education in order to spot paragraphs or sections that mention
indicator use. This led to a classification of research indicator use
with 21 categories which can be grouped into five main categories.


Research assessment
Research and innovation policy
Literature study