Bibliometrics and Research Impact
metrics, such as the h-index, and journal-level metrics, such as the
impact factor, are standard tools that are used in bibliometric
analyses. Other approaches, for example altmetrics and analyzing
activity in professional academic networks, play different roles in
evaluating the impact of scientific work within a discipline. All
metrics have limitations and should not be used as the sole source for
assessment and evaluation.
Author Level MetricsPublication and citation counts have traditionally been used to
measure the research impact of an author’s work. Various author-level
metrics based on citation analysis have been developed in recent years.
The most widely used is the h-index (link is external),
which measures the productivity and impact of an author’s work. It
states that “h” number of publications have been cited at least “h”
times. Web of Science (link is external), Scopus (link is external), Google Scholar (link is external),
and other databases can be used to calculate the h-index; however, as
each of these databases has a different data source, the calculated
h-index values will vary between databases. Further, the h-index will
also vary with the date of calculation.
Other metrics, such as the g-index (link is external), Google Scholar’s i10 index (link is external), and the hI,annual index (link is external) have been developed to address some of the criticisms of the h-index.
Authors can proactively work to make certain that all of their
publications and citations are counted in the calculation of these
indexes by creating unique author identification profiles using tools
such as ORCID (link is external), ResearcherID (link is external), or Google Scholar Citations (link is external).
The Scopus Author ID, which is automatically generated for every
author, helps to ensure that the correct publications are assigned to
the correct person within the Scopus database. Authors can use the Scopus Author Feedback Wizard (link is external) to submit any necessary changes.
Journal Level MetricsJournal-level metrics attempt to measure the reputation of individual
journals. The most widely known and oldest of these indicators is the impact factor (link is external),
which is used to rank the journals included in the Web of Science
database. The impact factor is a comparison of the number of citations
and the number of articles recently published within a journal. Impact
factors are available through the database Journal Citation Reports (link is external).
Alternate journal-level measures include the Scimago Journal Rank (link is external), which uses citation data included in the Scopus database, and Eigenfactor (link is external), which uses data from the Web of Science.
AltmetricsAltmetrics (from “alternative metrics”) are measures of online
activity, which are gathered from social media or other online tools.
Examples of these alternative forms of metrics range from the number of
downloads or views that an article receives to the number of times it
has been bookmarked in Mendeley or tweeted about. These metrics, which
can be used for authors, institutions, journals, or articles are in
their beta stage and are still being developed, although you can see an example (link is external) of how the Public Library of Science (PLoS) is teaming up with the company Altmetric to use this type of information.
Use and Limitations of Bibliometrics
- increasing the visibility and impact of your research
- promotion and review
- identifying the most suitable journals for publication
- identifying potential collaborators and areas for research
- providing data for grant proposals. The grant application rules for
each funding agency should be consulted to determine which data could be
helpful. TUM ForTE (link is external), the Office for Research and Innovation, also offers consultations to assist researchers with questions regarding funding.
qualitative methods of evaluation. Care must be taken to use the
appropriate metric for the appropriate purpose. For example, impact
factors (a journal-level measurement) should not be used to assess
individual researchers. Many metrics can also be influenced by the very
different citation behaviors that exist in different disciplines or by
For a further discussion of these limitations, see: Hicks, D. et al.
(2015): The Leiden Manifesto for research metrics. Nature 520 (7548),
429-431, http://www.nature.com/news/bibliometrics-the-leiden-manifesto-for-research-metrics-1.17351 (link is external) and The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment: http://www.ascb.org/dora/ (link is external).
Increase your research impact and visibiblity
Publishing in open access journals allows your work to be freely accessible to everyone and has been shown to be linked to higher citation rates and impact (link is external). TUM offers financial support for the payment of open access publication fees.
Creating a profile with an author disambiguation service such as ORCID (link is external) or ResearcherID (link is external), or creating a Google Scholar Citations (link is external) profile can help to ensure that all of your scholarly work is correctly attributed to you. Find here (link is external) how to create and maintain your author profiles in literature databases.
Bibliometrics, Scholarly Communication and Publication StrategiesWhat is my research impact and how can I influence my h-index? How
can I use academic identity management and social media for improving my
presence on the internet? The course gives an overview of different
issues with scholarly publication and improvement of research impact.
you like to analyse, improve, or simply better understand the impact of
your research output? We will work with you to answer your questions
about the use and meaning of metrics such as the h-index, Impact Factor,
Bibliometrics | Universitätsbibliothek der TUM