Bibliometrics refers to the use of statistical methods to measure influence or impact across journal literature, and can be used for:
assessing research performance;
measuring impact of researchers and outputs;
tracking research activity; and
evaluating journal or article quality
Bibliometrics is a set of methods to quantitatively measure impact or influence in journal publications. This can happen at the journal level or at the level of individual articles. This page will look at journal bibliometrics.
Journal impact factors are a measure of the average number of times articles published in the journal are cited. They are frequently used as a measurement of the relative importance of a journal within its field. Journals with higher impact factors are considered to be more important than those with lower ones.
You can find and compare impact factors using Scopus. They are best used to compare journals within the same discipline as there are disciplinary differences in how much articles are cited.
There are also some disadvantages to impact factors. They have met with some criticism about their reliability as a measure of quality. New journals won't be able to get an impact factor for a couple of years. It is also possible for unscrupulous editors to scam the system by citing articles from their own journal a lot.
For these reasons, it is best to consider impact factors in conjunction with other methods of assessing a journal's quality.
Databases like Scopus and Google scholar allow you to search for articles that have been cited (referenced) by a particular paper. You can also see how many times a paper has been cited by other papers. This is known as it's citation count.
The H-Index aims to measure the cumulative impact and relevance of an individual's scientific research output. It looks at the number of citations and the number of papers which have been published. So, for example, to receive a h-index of 5 an author will have had to publish 5 papers with at least 5 citations each. To increase this number to 6, the author will have to have 6 papers with at least 6 citations each. A more detailed explanation is available here.
Measures both quality and quantity
Measures the quality of individual output rather than the quality of the journal it is published in
Balances out any disproportionate influence or one or 2 very highly cited papers
Early career researchers with few publications score lower, regardless of their research quality
It fails to distinguish the relative contributions to the work in papers with a large number of authors
The numbers can't be compared across subject disciplines, because citation habits differ
It's possible for the value to be artificially boosted by repeated self-citation, although this tends to be to a lesser extent than for citation counts
It is affected by differences in citation counts across the different platforms (eg Scopus, Google scholar and Web of Science) discussed in the previous section.
Researchers are increasingly using the internet and in particular social media to disseminate their research. Altmetrics refer to a range of measurements which look at how an article has been disseminated and discussed online.
They may measure how an article has been:
Viewed - eg PDF downloads
Discussed - eg on twitter, facebook and journal comments
Saved - on social bookmarks such as Mendeley
Recommended - eg on F1000Prime
Publishers such as BioMed Central and Elsevier display altmetrics alongside their articles. Here is an example of one set of measures.
Measuring your Research Impact: Collaboration in Research Support Skills by Ross Pan & Ellen Breen
There are three metrics providers on the Pure Portal supplying insights into how people are interacting with your research. Below we explain each type and where to find more information.
Please bear in mind when looking at these that metrics should always be used in conjunction with qualitative measures, have more relevance in certain disciplines and that the ones displayed on the Portal are a select few of the vast amount available.
The metrics are divided into 5 categories:
When you click on 'see details' in the Pure Portal you can view more information for each category. Click here for more information about PlumX.
|Altmetrics measure the number of times research is mentioned captured on different platforms for example news outlets, Twitter, Mendeley, blogs and Wikipedia. By clicking on 'See more details' in the Pure portal for each individual output you can view a geographical breakdown of where in the world your research has been picked up and any posts/articles mentioning the research.|
Click here to find out more about Altmetrics.
Scopus citations are captured on articles, chapters, books and conference proceedings. They are most relevant to the science and engineering disciplines. Often you will have insights from Altmetrics/PlumX prior to information from Scopus.
|The citation count shows how many times the publication has been cited by sources indexed in Scopus. To view more details on the citation count and where the citations are sourced from you will need to use Scopus|
Scopus is a multidisciplinary database containing abstracts and cited references of peer reviewed literature, including journal articles, books and conference proceedings. It contains more than 7 million items, with cited references back to 1970 and more than 16 million author profiles.
Information on the content coverage can be found here, you can also download the full list of journal and book titles included from there.
Scopus is a subscription service which can accessed via this link - https://www.scopus.com/. Logging into Scopus is recommended even when on campus, this allows you to save searches and create alerts.
You can search Scopus for documents, authors or affiliations. Results can be ‘limited’ using the options on the left hand side of the screen by years, keywords, sources etc.
You can view each document in the list to see additional details including citation count, references, abstract etc. Groups of documents can be selected for further analysis or export from the menu bar above the results.
Scopus profiles include total number of citations, publication history, ORCID id and affiliation. In some cases when you search for yourself you may find inaccuracies with your profile, the solutions for these are below:
Additional information on the inter-operability between Scopus and ORCiD is available within the Open Access section of the libguide.
For more help with Scopus see the support centre
SciVal is an online tool which uses Scopus data from 1996 to present, in order to analyse research outputs, identify collaborative partnerships and see trends.
SciVal consists of 5 modules:
SciVal is a subscription service which can be accessed via this link - https://www.scival.com. You can access SciVal using your password for other Elsevier products such as Scopus or Science Direct, if you have registered for these previously (note that you can use an institutional login option for Scopus, but this is not yet available for SciVal).
If you do not have personal log in credentials for any other Elsevier products you will need to register to use SciVal. To do this you will need to be on campus or be using remote anywhere. From the SciVal home page click register and complete the form. You will receive a confirmation email once complete.
You can use SciVal to
There are over 30 different metrics available in SciVal, you should ensure you select appropriate metrics for your particular question and that you are aware of influencing factors such as size of group/number of outputs, discipline, time frame and coverage.
For a full range of metrics available in SciVal see the metrics guidebook.
For a quick overview of some of the metrics used in SciVal and Scopus see the Quick Reference Cards.
An entity in SciVal can be an institution, researcher/s, publication set, country or topic. Each entity apart from Coventry University needs to be added by the user. You can search for entities or create new ones.
Coventry maintains some entities centrally, for example Research Centres in order to reduce the need for these to be recreated multiple times. These can be shared with other users on request, to enquire about this please email email@example.com
For further help with SciVal visit the support centre or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Research & Scholarly Publications
FL320, Lanchester Library
Frederick Lanchester Building
Coventry, United Kingdom
Telephone: 024 7765 7568
Open Access and Institutional Repository - email@example.com
Research Data Management - firstname.lastname@example.org