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Bibliometrics and Citation Searching: Bibliometrics

What are Bibliometrics

Bibliometrics allows you to analyse the impact of an article, an author or a journal using different statistical metrics.

With bibliometrics you should be able to find out: how many times an article has been cited, which are the most cited journals in a field, which author has the highest citation count...etc.

There are four kinds of bibliometrics:

What is Citation Searching

When conducting your research you may find a significant article which relates to your topic, or which has provided a foundation for your thinking in the area. To go back in time from that article you look at  the end of the article to see what work it has cited. To go forward in time to need to find what articles have cited your article since it was published.  Citation indexes will provide links to the articles that have cited your article and articles cited within your article.

The following databases available via the Alphabetical list of databases allow citation searching:

  • Scopus
  • Web of Science 
  • PubMed

These  also allow you to set up alerts to notify you when a new article is published in your subject area.

Quick Reference Cards for Research Impact Metrics

(CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Library Connect, 2016. Librarian Quick Reference Cards for Research Impact Metrics [poster]. San Diego: Elsevier Library Connect. Available from: [Accessed 27 October 2017].

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How to use bibliometrics

There is no one way of using bibliometrics.

Caution should be used.

This webpage gives an overview of some of the limitations of bibliometrics.

The Leiden Manifesto is a collection of ten principles to guide research evaluation.

Publish or Perish tool

Publish or Perish is a freely available software tool (developed by Professor Anne-Wil Harzing) that retrieves and analyzes academic citations from your Google Scholar profile and presents the following metrics:

  • Total number of papers and total number of citations
  • Average citations per paper, citations per author, papers per author, and citations per year
  • Hirsch's h-index and related parameters
  • Egghe's g-index
  • Contemporary h-index
  • Three variations of individual h-indices
  • Average annual increase in the individual h-index
  • Age-weighted citation rate
  • Analysis of the number of authors per paper.