Citation Analysis

Bibliometrics refers to quantitative analysis we can use to assess research output. Using bibliometrics can help measure patterns of authorship, publication and the use of literature and references. It is becoming more widely used to assess impact of research, although impact can be measured in other quantitative ways such as: publication counts, number of PhD students and amount of research income. It must also be noted that meaningful analysis of bibliometrics varies between subjects, and is mainly used in scientific areas.

According to Measuring your Research Impact (MyRI), bibliometrics is often used:

  1. As evidence to support a researcher who is being considered for promotion, tenure and grant funding.
  2. In deciding where to publish research, in order to obtain maximum visibility and citation rate by targeting high impact journals.

A general guide to main forms of citation analysis including information on H-Index, Times Cited Scoring, Impact Factors, Field Weighted Citation Impact and CiteScore can be found at:   An Introduction to Bibiometrics and Citation AnalysisIntroduction to Bibliometrics and Citation Analysis - Cyflwyno PowerPoint (January 2018) and Introduction to Bibliometrics and Citation Analysis - Dogfen Gefndirol (January 2018). 

This document forms the basis of apresentation given to Aberystwyth University staff through the CDSAP programme and to postgraduate researchers through the Research Training PGM1520 programme.

A guide to some of the specialist terms used in citation analysis can be found in the Metrics Toolkit and also on the Elsevier Metrics Poster

An open access online bibliometrics training package to help you assess your own impact is available from a collaboration between Dublin City University, Dublin Institute of Technology, the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, and University College Dublin:
Measuring Your Research Impact (MyRI)

Useful websites for bibliometrics information: 

World university rankings websites: 

Alternative Measures of Research Impact (Altmetrics)

Recently, assessing research impact of journals, organisations and authors through formal citation analysis has been mirrored by the development of complimentary analyses of research impact. This includes analysis of research impact at the individual article level, micro-level impact such as sharing of datasets and models, as well as measuring appearances in social media. These new measures, or alternative metrics, are often referred to as 'Altmetrics'.

The basic principles of social media aspects of research metrics can be found on the Altmetrics website There is also a good overview of altmetrics here. As well as formal citations, altmetrics sites capture social measures such as numbers of readers, saves, downloads, bookmarks, blog posts, news stories, (re)tweets, likes, shares and ratings. 

Specific elements of the Altmetric Explorer's scoring system can be investigated at: (via subscription).

Other systems allow individuals to add their own references to social media impact systems. The most well-known examples are PlumAnalytics and ImpactStory.

Some formal databases have also started to include social media altmetrics in their offerings, with the Public Library of Science (PLOS) being one of the best-known examples.

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