Citation metrics are often criticized as an assessment tool. The following are some frequently stated concerns:
- The metric is only as accurate as the information used to generate it, if any publications or citations are excluded the resulting metric will be inaccurate leading to undervaluation.
- Relying on citation counts for assessment may lead emerging scholars and their works to be undervalued as it often takes several years for a publication to become highly cited.
- All disciplines and publication types do not receive equal coverage by the citation tools. Books and international publications are often excluded.
- Citation counts may include erroneous or negative citations. They may also contain repeated self-citations.
- Subscriptions to bibliographic databases vary among institutions.
It can be difficult to distinguish scholars, particularly those with common surnames, due to a lack of a unique identifier.
- The purely quantitative approach lacks nuance as it does not consider other ways a scholar may contribute to their field.
The following papers and reports present more detailed perspectives on the appropriate use of bibliometrics: