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Bibliometric analysis at the individual level
Possible objectives of an individual-level bibliometric analysis include:
- Understanding which of your articles have been cited, and how many times they have been cited within specific citation-tracking databases.
- Gaining insight into citing works and authors to identify possibilities for collaboration.
It is also important to be mindful of how the level of detail influences an individual-level bibliometric analysis. For example, small sample sizes which may undermine the possibility for robust comparisons.
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Appropriate uses of an individual-level bibliometric analysis include:
- Person-level analysis, intended for an individual researcher to gain a personal understanding of their research output and impact examples.
- Highlighting highly cited documents in advancement packages, funding competitions, or awards applications.
- Publication counts, either total or broken down by year.
- Citation counts, either total or broken down by publication, as well as highly cited publications.
- H-index or a variant.
- For more information, see Measures.
- When doing comparisons be sure to use the same data source (citation-tracking database) for all data collection (e.g., only Web of Science or only Scopus). Never compare metrics from two different data sources.
Inappropriate uses of an individual-level bibliometric analysis include:
- Comparing individual researchers solely based on h-index data.
- Performance measurement to compare between researchers for personnel decisions, including hiring, merit review, and tenure.
- Comparing research output among individual researchers, such as those from different disciplines or fields, at different stages of career, or with different research foci.
- Comparing women researchers’ cited works with men as there is a known bias.
- Using measures to compare areas that are not robust or well captured in citation-tracking databases. For example, regional and interdisciplinary disciplines, or fields where books or conference proceedings are the primary forms of research output.