Bibliometrics as knowledge management tools for research units and communities
July 4, 2023 - Guest Lecture @ University of Hagen
- Introduction to bibliometrics
- From research evaluation
- … to knowledge management
- Challenges and tips and tricks
What are bibliometrics?
“The measurement of all aspects related to the publication and reading of books and documents.” (Otlet, 1934)
“the application of mathematics and statistical methods to books and other media of communication.” (Pritchard, 1969)
In principle, bibliometrics could be applied to any type of documents, but in practice they are applied to scholarly outputs to measure knowledge production, dissemination, and use.
What’s in a name?
Bibliometrics is a widely used term to refer to the field, but it is not the only (and probably not the best) one. Other (quasi-)synonyms include:
Bibliometrics, Scientometrics, info(r)metrics, altmetrics, Quantitative Science Studies
Science of science, research on research
Science and technology studies (STS) share the research object but not the methods (STS uses mainly qualitative methods).
Main assumptions of bibliometrics
Peer-reviewed scholarly works are contributions to the advancement of knowledge (or units of knowledge production).
Because researchers cite their sources, citations 1) indicate a relationship between two works and 2) can measure the use (or impact? Quality? Importance?) of a contribution to knowledge.
Entities “knowable” through bibliometrics
- Research organizations (e.g. Universities
- Research areas
Bibliometric database vs other bibliograhic database
Main advantages of most of the bibliometric databases are:
- They index more metadata elements from the paper
- They enrich the metadata by adding elements (e.g., classifications, unique identifiers for authors and other entities)
- They index citations, which is why these databases are often called citation indexes (or scientific knowledge graph (SKG), which may be a better name since these databases generally include more than citations).
Applications of bibliometrics
- Sociology of science
- History of science
- Science policy
- Library and Information Science
- Research evaluation