Bibliometric Analysis at the Institutional Level
The University's White Paper, "Measuring Research Output Through Bibliometrics", identifies how bibliometric data can be used to support a bibliometric analysis at the institutional level, and offers context for:
Possible objectives of an institutional-level bibliometric analysis include:
- Understand the institution’s research activity in terms of production of publication outputs and associated citations.
- Understand the institution's performance over time, or compared with a selected peer.
- Validate university-level data that external agencies have published, for example, the data generated by a university rankings organization.
It is also important to be mindful of how the level of detail influences an institutional-level bibliometric analysis. For example, there are too many disparate elements integrated at this level of analysis to obtain a detailed understanding.
Appropriate uses of an institutional-level bibliometric analysis include:
- To capture research publications and citations in fields or disciplines that are well covered in citation-tracking databases.
- To better understand performance measurement and reporting analysis at the institutional level.
- Internal reporting to examine the validity of data that other institutions or agencies have published.
- Performance measurement relative to key peers only with acknowledgement and consideration of differing contexts that would impact comparison, including: different missions, program mixes, institution age, regional or international foci, dominant language for publishing and administrative or funding environment.
- For example, a comparison of a relatively new research-intensive institution with a liberal arts primarily undergraduate university must consider and acknowledge the institutional mission, the Faculties and program mix, the number of researchers at the institution by discipline, and the institution age.
- Publication counts in Web of Science based on selected journal classifications where faculty members are most active.
- Normalized citation impact.
- Top percentiles.
- For more information, see Measures.
- Analysis may also be possible with groups of authors if the data is properly cleaned and validated, and if it is analyzed over time and not in comparison with others.
- Measures or analysis provided with contextual information, e.g., number of researchers, areas of specialty, career stage.
- Measures or analysis provided as part of a data package along with other measures, e.g., research funding, awards and honours.
Inappropriate uses of a institutional-level bibliometric analysis include:
- Comparing across different institutions based on h-index data without appropriate normalization.
- Comparing publication and citation data that has not been appropriately normalized.
- Comparing performance relative to other institutions where the universities or institutions are substantively different, for example, have different missions (liberal arts compared to a technical institute; regionally focused institution compared to a national-focused institution) or publish in predominantly different languages.