Metrics and Citation Analysis

Bibliometrics is the statistical analysis of bibliographic data, commonly focusing on citation analysis of research outputs and publications, i.e. how many times research outputs and publications are being cited.

Bibliometrics can help with a number of activities, including: demonstrating the importance and impact of your own research/research group; identifying areas of research strength and weaknesses in the institution; identifying top performing journals in a subject area; identifying top researchers in a subject area.

It is important to note that citations patterns can differ greatly between disciplines. For example, in certain disciplines research outputs may be cited more frequently than in other disciplines and so it is important to compare like with like; a normalised measure that is relative to the expected world average for the subject field, publication type and publication year is the most appropriate metric to use. Certain disciplines rely less on publishing in journals and therefore do not use these metrics.

Bibliometric measures don’t necessarily measure the quality of the research output but only how often the work is being cited, and this can be taken as one measure of impact. Bibliometric measures should always be put in context and used in conjunction with other data such as funding received, number of patents, awards granted and qualitative measures such as peer review. Also note that since the measures are based on citations, they don’t take into account the use of research by policy-makers/practitioners who may reference the articles in a report or policy that is not measures in the citation counts.

Please contact libsupport@bangor.ac.uk if you would like more guidance and support for bibliometrics.

Parts of information on this website are based on information in the University of Leeds Researcher@Library guide “Bibliometrics: an overview” http://library.leeds.ac.uk/downloads/file/265/bibliometrics_an_overview