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What are bibliometrics?

Bibliometrics analyse research output quantitatively. They aim to find out the value and impact of particular articles, authors or journals.

Bibliometrics are largely based on counting citations and they equate a higher number of citations with greater value and impact. However, bibliometrics cannot provide a full picture of the value of an article, author or journal alone. It is recommended they are used in conjunction with other means of evaluation.

Using bibliometrics responsibly

Please see Library advice regarding the responsible use of quantitative research indicators (i.e. bibliometrics). This document outlines our approach to bibliometrics, representing current good practice and acting as a guide for future activities. 


Introduction to Bibliometrics transcript

Hello, I’m Isabel and in this podcast, brought to you by the Library Services, I’m going to be talking about bibliometrics.

Bibliometrics is the quantitative analysis of citation data in order to find out the impact of a particular artice, author or journal within a research field. In a nutshell, bibliometrics are calculated by measuring the number of citations each article, author or journal has recieved.

There are a number of ways to measure research impact, including:

  • The H-index, which is a method of calculating an individual's impact over a period of time;
  • Journal Impact Factors, to enable comparison of the impact of different academic journals;
  • Altmetrics, which measure social media activity, like Tweets and Facebook shares.

But why should you use bibliometrics?

Well, it can help you to prove the quality and impact of your research. And it can also help you to decide which is the best journal in your field to publish in. Bibliometrics are also likely to feature as an element of the next Research Excellence Framework exercise.

Thanks for watching. For more information email the Library Services Research Support Team at

Contact the Library Research Support team