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Scholarly Communication Services - Journal / Research Impact

Criticisms Against Bibliometrics


Experts in academia and publishing have the following criticisms against bibliometrics:

Change in its Intended Use.  The discussion of bibliometrics originated in the late 1950s by scientists who wanted to explore citation networks and shorten the time needed to find relevant articles, but now many organizations and institutions use bibliometrics to evaluate the productivity of researchers and scholars.

Its Use Among Disciplines.  The use of bibliometrics has been viewed as a 'one size fits all' method of evaluation for various disciplines that do not rate their own work using the same means.  Some bibliometrics apply to some disciplines because of their publishing practices and norms, but not to others.  

Methodology.  The methods and formulas used in some bibliometrics are not transparent or available to the public.  Experts have shown evidence that some bibliometric companies omitted publications by rival publishers from their lists, and assert some companies provided questionable explanations for changes made in their methodologies.  

Various organizations and publications (e.g., PLoS) support professional statements such as The San Francisco Declaration of Research Assessment (DORA) that call for institutions and organizations to revisit the their use of bibliometrics for evaluative purposes.   See the links below to gain a comprehensive understanding of these points:

Last updated on Nov 10, 2021 10:33 AM