Research can be “measured” by studying, statistically, the publications that originate from the research in question. This is referred to as bibliometrics.
One important method within bibliometrics is the citation analysis, through which it is possible to for instance:
- track where and by whom a publication has been cited,
- find original studies on which certain research is based, and
- see what scientific impact a publication has had.
Bibliometric analyses are an increasingly important assessment criterion in the allocation of public research funding. Bibliometric results also play a central role in internal and external assessments of research environments and in international rankings of universities.
There are a number of databases used for bibliometric measurements, such as:
- Web of Science/ISI (with Science Citation Index for different disciplines)
- Journal Citation Report (Web of Knowledge/ISI)
- Scopus (with e.g. SCImago Journal Rank and SNIP)
- Publish or Perish (Google Scholar)
The methods applied by the databases for counting citations vary and they cover disciplines and publications differently. A certain publication may therefore be ascribed completely different values depending on the bibliometric database used. Some databases are better suited for certain subjects than others.