Bibliometrics or publication metrics are measures that analyze the impact of research output based on publication data such as number of publications, number of citations, journal impact factor score, h-index, and any number of developing measures based on document-level and social media impact metrics.
They are commonly used for purposes of tenure and promotion review, grant applications and renewal reports, benchmarking, and for other administrative purposes such as departmental, university or institutional performance reviews.
A word of caution: bibliometrics can only assess how many citations an article receives, and sometimes weights those by the relative "prestige" of the journals citing the article. Bibliometrics do not assess the context of why an article is being cited - just because an article or journal receives a lot of citations, that does not necessarily mean that it is high quality. Always evaluate articles and journals for yourself, and make your best judgment as a scholar.
Traditional bibliometrics of journal and researcher impact are based upon numbers of citations received per paper published in a journal over a period. They may be weighted by other factors, or may not, depending on the specific measure. They focus on counting citations of individual journals or articles in comparison to peer journals or researchers.
Altmetrics or Alternative Metrics are a new and evolving type of bibliometric measure based on using impact on the Social Web for analyzing and informing scholarship. Altmetric measures can include one or many of the following :
Altmetrics can show aspects of the impact of research and scholarship beyond what traditional bibliometric citation measures analyze. They can show interest and sharing of research much earlier than possible with citations and are increasingly being used in tenure review, research grant seeking, and research promotion. They are typically used in conjunction with traditional metrics rather than in place of them.
|Altmetric Measures||Traditional Bibliometric Measures|
Algorithms based upon different measures of social media impact, article usage, citation, etc.
Journal impact calculations and measures
SCImago Journal Rank is a measure of a journal's impact factor that is openly available to all to use. It uses data from Elsevier's Scopus database to determine its rankings. SJR measures are available to ATSU users via either:
You can use this rank to evaluate whether a journal's standing in comparison to its peers fits your needs.
Note that the SJR ranks journals by "prestige" as determined largely by how many articles cite articles from that journal. This can create something of a self-fulfilling prophecy, as journals are determined to be important due to their high number of citations, which motivates people to use that journal more, which affirms its prestige.
In short, do not assume a low SJR means a journal is low-quality, as it is more likely to simply be smaller and less well-established than other journals, but still subject to the same rigor of peer-review and evaluation. Conversely, do not assume that all articles in a journal are high quality, simply because that journal has a high SJR or good reputation.
The h index, proposed by J.E. Hirsch in 2005, is a very widely used metric for scholarly impact based on analysis of publication data using publications and citations to provide “an estimate of the importance, significance, and broad impact of a scientist’s cumulative research contributions.”
It intends to reflect both quantity and quality of a researcher's entire research output using a single number based upon how widely and how many papers have been cited.
Some Caveats :
A number of other similar metrics are available to attempt to calculate more useful values, but the h Index is currently the most common.
Some scholarly databases provide h index values for authors, including Google Scholar, or you can calculate it yourself.
Altmetric offers metrics for social media shares and mentions of your research. Use it to track online interest in your research before citation data becomes available.
The free Altmetric it! bookmarklet for Chrome, Firefox or Safari can show article metrics for any article with a DOI with a single click. The bookmarklet allows for viewing of the Altmetric Score of works on ORCID record pages.
How to get Started:
Altmetric also offers free access to its API for researchers interested in working with its large stock of data about social media attention to research.
An Impactstory Profile is an open source site that helps researchers explore and share the online impact of their research. It builds on your ORCID iD to pull together your work with your twitter and other social media to link its impact into a simple, findable profile that highlights your work and impact.
Telling Impact Stories: Video from Cushing/Hay Medical Library at Yale University.