Bibliometrics


Bibliometrics

Bibliometrics is a set of methods used to study or measure texts and information. Citation analysis and content analysis are commonly used bibliometric methods. While bibliometric methods are most often used in the field of library and information science, bibliometrics have wide applications in other areas. In fact, many research fields use bibliometric methods to explore the impact of their field, the impact of a set of researchers, or the impact of a particular paper.

Historically bibliometric methods have been used to trace relationships amongst academic journal citations. Citation analysis, which involves examining an item's referring documents, is used in searching for materials and analyzing their merit. Citation indices, such as Institute for Scientific Information's Web of Science, allow users to search forward in time from a known article to more recent publications which cite the known item.

Data from citation indexes can be analyzed to determine the popularity and impact of specific articles, authors, and publications. Using citation analysis to gauge the importance of one's work, for example, is a significant part of the tenure review process. Information scientists also use citation analysis to quantitatively assess the core journal titles and watershed publications in particular disciplines; interrelationships between authors from different institutions and schools of thought; and related data about the sociology of academia. Some more pragmatic applications of this information includes the planning of retrospective bibliographies, "giving some indication both of the age of material used in a discipline, and of the extent to which more recent publications supersede the older ones;" indicating through high frequency of citation which documents should be archived; comparing the coverage of secondary services which can help publishers gauge their achievements and competition, and can aid librarians in evaluating "the effectiveness of their stock" [Nicholas, David and Maureen Ritchie. "Literature and Bibliometrics" London: Clive Bingley: 1978. (12-28).] There are also some limitations to the value of citation data. They are often incomplete or biased; data has been largely collected by hand (which is expensive), though citation indexes can also be used; incorrect citing of sources occurs continually; thus, further investigation is required to truly understand the rationale behind citing to allow it to be confidently applied [Nicholas, David and Maureen Ritchie. "Literature and Bibliometrics" London: Clive Bingley: 1978. (28-29).]

Although citation analysis is nothing new (the Science Citation Index began publication in 1961), it was all done manually and thus really couldn't scale. Automated algorithms are making it much more useful, versatile, and widespread. Google's PageRank is based on the principle of citation analysis. Patent citation maps are also based upon citation analysis (in this case, the citation of one patent by another).

Other bibliometrics applications include: creating thesauri; measuring term frequencies; exploring grammatical and syntactical structures of texts; measuring usage by readers.

In 2003 Charles Murray published the results of a vast bibliometric study supposed to reveal the 'significant figures' in the arts and sciences. Some 4002 people are ranked in his lists compiled for 12 domains (8 scientific disciplines, literature, philosophy, arts).

ee also

* H-index or Hirsch number
* Impact factor
* Citation impact
* Citation index
* Bibliogram
* Content analysis
* Data mining
* Informetrics
* Webometrics

References and external links

* Murray, Charles (2003), "Human Accomplishment: the pursuit of excellence in the arts and sciences 800 to 1950" [ISBN 0-641-65181-3]
* [http://www.science-metrix.com/eng/methods_scientometrics_t.htm Science-Metrix]


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