Bibliometric indicators as part of the research ecosystem

Posted on Actualizado enn

Can we see the bibliometric indicators as part of an  ecosystem? I think so…

Let me explain. I’m involved in a project related to bibliometric analytics, seeing the first results, I realise, as I read many and many times, that the bibliometric indicators are a good quantitative indicators to measure the research results, but should not be the only or the main measures to evaluate a researcher.

The bibliometric indicators such as citations counts or downloads, have different biases depending on age, discipline and co-authorship. As it is good explained in this paper.

The number of citations increased with the age (number of years of active researcher) of the individual, so the square root of number of citations divided by the age is almost a constant.

Different disciplines have different citation cultures, so citation counts cannot be directly compared.

Must take the degree of co-authorship into account.

Finally we must take also into account that indicators such as provided by WOS, Scopus and Google Scholar (the most relevant), do not cover all areas of research, being Google Scholar the widest.

We can see the researcher environment as an ecosystem that depends on the researchers personal profile, their collaboration relationships, their research scope, their media activity (measured thru altmetrics), other indicators such eigenfactor among others. Only seeing the researchers as a whole, interacting in an environment, we can evaluate them, and not only thru two or three indicators.

In short, we can show the main bibliometric indicators, as we can see bellow, but it’s not a result or an evaluation as well, it’s only information that we need to analyse in order to evaluate the results.