Bibliometrics provide useful quantitative measures of citation impact but do not on their own provide a complete picture of research impact.
There is increasing recognition worldwide of the importance of responsible use of bibliometrics in research assessment. A number of frameworks have emerged to assist with the move to responsible use of research metrics, amongst them ‘The Metric Tide’, the ‘Leiden Manifesto for Research Metrics’, and most notably ‘The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment’ (DORA).
Therefore it is important that we use bibliometrics responsibly. Some things to keep in mind are:
San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA
The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) is a worldwide initiative covering all scholarly disciplines. The signatories are concerned about the increasing use of the Journal Impact Factor as a tool to evaluate and compare the research output of individuals and institutions.
Initiated in 2012, the American Society for Cell Biology and a group of editors and publishers of scholarly journals drafted and circulated a declaration that recognises the need to improve the way in which the outputs of scientific research are evaluated.
"The Journal Impact Factor, as calculated by Thomson Reuters, was originally created as a tool to help librarians identify journals to purchase, not as a measure of the scientific quality of research in an article. With that in mind, it is critical to understand that the Journal Impact Factor has a number of well-documented deficiencies as a tool for research assessment. These limitations include:
Many funding agencies are now DORA signatories, including Science Foundation Ireland and the HRB.
Published in Nature in April 2015 by five experts led by Diana Hicks, professor in the School of Public Policy at Georgia Institute of Technology, and Paul Wouters, director of CWTS at Leiden University, The Leiden manifesto proposed 10 principles for the measurement of research performance
The ten principles of the Leiden Manifesto are as follows:
(Accessed 4th Nov 2019)
A report from the UK Forum for Responsible Research Metrics - 3 years on from the Metric Tide
Blog post by Dr Elizabeth Gadd (Research Policy Manager) outlining Loughborough University's approach to ensuring research metrics and used responsibly.
Presentation by Dr Elizabeth Gadd (Loughborough University) given at the FORCE2019 conference in Edinburgh on Wednesday 16 October, 2019