What are Bibliometrics and Citation Technologies?


Coined in 1969 by Alan Pritchard, bibliometrics is the set of mathematical and statistical methods to quantitatively analyze citations and content of academic literature. The technology has advanced rapidly in the age of computers as new algorithms are being developed to better gauge an author or journal’s impact in the field, and help researchers efficiently filter through research databases or select the most appropriate journal for publication. Bibliometrics encompasses citation count, journal impact factor (JIF), and h-index, among other metrics that can be used to support grant applications, attainment of new and tenured positions, and requests for raises or promotions. The demand for citation technologies has given rise to a crop of sophisticated filtering tools that are replacing old metrics with methods based on measurements of semantic publishing. These metrics take into account sharing and annotations via the web and exchanges of data to evaluate the impact of a scholarly work. Advances in bibliometrics are helping academic and research libraries maintain a competitive edge by maximizing the influence of their scientific outputs, and thus reinforcing their effort to gain funding.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to academic and research libraries?

  • who will take over the main work in this area: the libraries or other adminstrative functions within the University - andreas.kirstein andreas.kirstein Oct 17, 2016 - sandore sandore Nov 11, 2016
  • Academic and research libraries have always relied on commercial vendors of one kind or another to get bibliometric data and often have provided this as a service to faculty and the institution, whether for tenure applications or to understand research impact. As alternative metrics and social citation services have become increasingly visible, many new products and services have become available, and these vendors might approach other units within the institution. The library therefore has an opportunity to partner with other units to provide bibliometric and citation services. Because these have so much relevance to collection development and faculty liaison services, it is essential that the library be part of the conversation.- mheller1 mheller1 Oct 26, 2016 - sandore sandore Nov 11, 2016 - kristi-thompson kristi-thompson Nov 13, 2016- anthony.helm anthony.helm Nov 13, 2016
  • Libraries expose scholarship and make things discoverable, so it is natural that campus offices will look to the library to be involved in bibliometrics - and we should want to be. If the library does not take a leadership role in this area, it opens the marketplace up to commercial vendors who can out-compete the library, but whose services may be antithetical to the mission of the library (and to some extent, the university). As universities feel pressure to demonstrate status and prestige, bibliometrics and the connections that can be possibly derived from them (i.e. VIVO) will be a major focus of the Research Office. - shorisyl shorisyl Nov 1, 2016 - sandore sandore Nov 11, 2016- anthony.helm anthony.helm Nov 13, 2016
  • Libraries should cooperate inside and outside their institution in this field. Some will take the lead while some might sit in the back. [- frank.scholze frank.scholze Nov 4, 2016] - sandore sandore Nov 11, 2016
  • Libraries are leveraging tools in two ways. First in the traditional way, to support faculty in demonstrating the value that they add to the scholarly discourse. Second, as a tool to demonstrate their own value as a part of the scholarly information infrastructure. As we continue to transform to understanding libraries as infrastructure, citation management and bibliometric support are key aspects of the infrastructure that libraries provide. - mcalter mcalter Nov 6, 2016 - sandore sandore Nov 11, 2016 - kristi-thompson kristi-thompson Nov 13, 2016
  • There is also an information literacy aspect to the bibliometrics trend. As a tool, bibliometrics has the usual set of shortcomings and inherent challenges. Many faculty are approaching bibliometrics as a means to an end, and want to be able to present evidence without developing a level of fluency with the tool. Libraries can provide support and inform users of what the technology can and cannot achieve. - mcalter mcalter Nov 6, 2016 - sandore sandore Nov 11, 2016 - erik.stattin erik.stattin Nov 13, 2016- anthony.helm anthony.helm Nov 13, 2016
  • Libraries have a role in curating and showcasing the research output of their institutions - and it's a logical extension - and indeed already a reality - that we extend that role to include an element of impact and bibliometric measures - cmkeithw cmkeithw Nov 9, 2016 - mstephens7 mstephens7 Nov 10, 2016 - sandore sandore Nov 11, 2016- liusq liusq Nov 12, 2016
  • The relationships that subject area librarians, in particular, develop with faculty makes them well-positioned to help with article curation, disambiguating articles with similar author names, for example. In addition, the library is already actively involved with faculty in scholarly publishing, so this is a more natural alignment.- anthony.helm anthony.helm Nov 13, 2016

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • I see this Topic in a bigger context of cloud computing as an infrastructure and text and data mining as a tool to get results - andreas.kirstein andreas.kirstein Oct 17, 2016 agree, it might become part of TDM and data analytics [- frank.scholze frank.scholze Nov 4, 2016]
  • Bibliometrics in the traditional sense were related to collection development, and that should still be considered. Newer metrics can also be used for collection development, and those that track availability of work open access may be particularly helpful. I don't know that the newer alternative metrics are truly being used for grant or tenure applications yet except in fields with a more forward-looking approach to academic research. My guess is that newer metrics are generally provided as adjunct to traditional bibliometrics rather than replacing them.- mheller1 mheller1 Oct 26, 2016
  • I see the newer alternative metrics as playing a greater role as more scholars engage digitally and where the focus of a scholar's research involves subjects such as social media, digital marketing, advertising, consumer behavior and psychology- lchabot lchabot Oct 31, 2016
  • Bibliometrics is a subset of the Big Data trend. While bibliometrics have a unique tie to library infrastructure, and thus merit a separate discussion, it is worth making the connection clear. - mcalter mcalter Nov 6, 2016 - sandore sandore Nov 11, 2016
  • I see a change in the way academic institutions are being evaluated, with an increasing focus on what is called " societal impact". Bibliometrics are being accompanied by alternative metrics capturing attention and mentions in the society linked to the scientific publications. Altmetrics are one area libraries should help organisation with to bring this together. I believe however that to capture, monitor and analyse the impact of research a collaboration is needed between research offices, libraries, communication departments and other stakeholders inside the organisation to get the whole picture. CRIS-systems, Altmetrics tools, social media monitoring tools and aggregators, should be managed as a whole. - digicmb digicmb Nov 7, 2016 - sandore sandore Nov 11, 2016
  • altmetrics are non-traditional metrics proposed as an alternative to more traditional citation impact metrics in scholarly and scientific publishing http://altmetrics.org/manifesto/ - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Nov 8, 2016
  • I'm not sure that bibliometrics "are helping academic and research libraries maintain a competitive edge by maximizing the influence of their scientific outputs, and thus reinforcing their effort to gain funding." I think they do help libraries to aid their parent institutions achieve those end goals. More crudely they also help libraries build a role in a world where much information consumption (and dissemination) bypasses the library. - cmkeithw cmkeithw Nov 9, 2016 - mstephens7 mstephens7 Nov 10, 2016
  • We also ought to recognise the role of libraries - and the bibliometrics expertise contained therein - in informing promotion/tenure cases, research assessment exercises etc. - cmkeithw cmkeithw Nov 9, 2016 - sandore sandore Nov 11, 2016
  • Libraries can bring important insight to the discussion of the inherent weaknesses in using bibliometrics to assess individual scholars' research. - sandore sandore Nov 11, 2016- liusq liusq Nov 12, 2016 - kristi-thompson kristi-thompson Nov 13, 2016
  • This topic desperately needs to be integrated with the UX conversation or it will continue to struggle to find purchase with modern incoming college students. - tchaffin tchaffin Nov 13, 2016
  • Impact measures vary substantially from field to field, so it is important to understand the difference between article citation frequency in the sciences vs. the humanities. Administrators should tread lightly before considering the broad use of alt metrics in faculty evaluations across disciplines.- anthony.helm anthony.helm Nov 13, 2016

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on academic and research libraries?

  • big Impact (mid-term) in the global competition of Researchers and Research institutions - andreas.kirstein andreas.kirstein Oct 17, 2016 - sandore sandore Nov 11, 2016
  • This has already impacted and continues to impact libraries, and therefore it is a long-term trend. However, I think newer types of metrics will have a larger impact once the technology is more robust and begins to penetrate the market. Many of the newer services around this area have only started marketing products in the last 1-2 years, and even the more established social citation services are only around 5-10 years old. Thus I think there will be a big impact, but for the average academic library this will take another 5 years.- mheller1 mheller1 Oct 26, 2016 - sandore sandore Nov 11, 2016
  • I think Margaret's point about this taking 5 years for libraries is accurate, but very problematic. Commercial entities are much more focused in product development and deployment and libraries risk being overtaken. Libraries need to address this topic in mission and priorities in order to retain/claim a leadership role. - shorisyl shorisyl Nov 1, 2016 - sandore sandore Nov 11, 2016- liusq liusq Nov 12, 2016
  • - liusq liusq Nov 12, 2016Measures of research output are increasing become part of libraries work, in my library, we have a department which provide bibilometric report or data with faculty to support their funding and promotion, tenure track,etc. It extends the trditional of libraries, but if libarries do not do this, the commercial providers will do it for sure.
  • Impact is likely to be widespread, but the resource impact may not be as significant (broad adoption, limited staff assigned).- anthony.helm anthony.helm Nov 13, 2016

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?



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