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Types of Metrics
Metrics-Publish or Perish
Brief explanations of the author-level metrics included in Publish or Perish.
Origins of the h-index
The original article by J.E. Hirsch proposing the h-index as a tool to "characterize the scientific output of a researcher".
The universal h-index
The universal h-index as proposed by Radicchi, Fortunato, and Castellano. The universal h-index allows the comparison of the impact of authors in different scientific disciplines.
Theory and practice of the g-index
Original article by Leo Egghe proposing the g-index that places greater weight on articles with higher citation counts.
Interpreting Data and Cautionary Tales
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:
An International Mathematical Union (IMU) report on the use and misuse of citation data. Discusses several of the problems associated with using bibliometrics to evaluate research and publications and promotes proper use of citation statistics.
Using bibliometrics in evaluating research
White paper by David Pendlebury, a researcher at Thomson Reuters (Web of Science) on the appropriate use of bibliometrics. Includes ten "rules" in using publication and citation analysis.
The Use of Bibliometrics in the Social Sciences and Humanities
2004 report from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC) recommending appropriate use of metrics in the social sciences and humanities.
Google Scholar- a new data source for citation analysis
Ann-Wil Harzing on the use of Google Scholar for citation analysis. Includes discussions of the disadvantages in using Google Scholar and Web of Science.