Citations count: the provision of bibliometrics training by university libraries

2012-04-17T10:56:05Z (GMT) by Elizabeth Gadd
The use of citation analysis as an indicator of research quality is gaining momentum: in the higher education (HE) sector. League tables are increasingly relying on citation data to inform their rankings of universities. In the recently published Times higher education World University Rankings, citations were given the heaviest weighting (32.5%) of the total for each university assessed. The forthcoming Research Excellence Framework (REF) was originally to be based solely on citation data. This idea has now been dropped, but citation data will still be supplied to all sub-panels- they will decide whether and how it is used. Overseas institutions have been using citation data to make recruitment and selection decisions for a long time. Many higher education institutions in North America, Asia, and parts of Europe require applicants to academic posts to supply their h-index (an index that attempts to measure both the productivity and impact of the published work of a scientist or scholar based on the set of their most cited papers and the number of citations that they have received in other people's publications). Increasingly, UK-based institutions are making research quality assessments based on citation counts. Despite its critics and its limitations- and there are many- citation analysis looks set to stay. [continues...]