Bibliometrics is a form of data analysis that has been used in academia for centuries. Although it began as a crude method of combining facts and statistics through those who were seen as scholars, it has developed over time into a much more objective science.
Today, educators and those in the field apply the study of bibliometrics to determine the relevancy of a source and how it pertains to potential academic impact. It’s a question that can no longer be answered subjectively.
The variables in education itself are wide enough since each student has their own set of unique circumstances. There must be a solid tool used to measure the pertinence of a source before it is used in a classroom setting; thus, the science of bibliometrics was further developed.
Relevancy and Accuracy
Using current, relevant sources to educate students at all levels is crucial. Outdated modes skew the data, reducing the accuracy of data collection. When an educator is designing curriculum and instructional methods, they have to possess a way to determine the relevancy of the programs they are using. Text and sources that aren’t relevant to the student’s prior knowledge could detrimentally impact how they absorb the material.
This need for relevancy is where the science of bibliometrics steps into the field. For each subject, grade level, and purpose, parameters are predetermined. These guidelines are used to measure and analyze the performance of the researcher in question, their typical practices of data collection, and the output itself.
Traditional methods of relevancy have always been predominantly peer reviews and journal publications. The science of bibliometrics moves beyond these analyses and into statistics and data collection itself. It takes work that could have been qualitative in nature and turns it into quantitative facts broken down into parts.
The Science of Bibliometrics
Bibliometric data varies based on the subject or field being researched, but it has interdisciplinary consistency. Although it’s quantitative, it is used in conjunction with qualitative methods to give a clear, full picture of the research in question.
Educators use this method to provide evidence to validate their research when they are looking for funding or approval of a source. It is also used frequently to prove the pertinency of new avenues of research that would otherwise lack peer review and journals.
Factors of bibliometrics that are broken down and analyzed into pieces and then redistributed into a bigger graph for a final determination include:
● Research output quantity measured in citation counts across Google Scholar, Web of Science, and Scopus
● The H-index count, which measures the number of published sources by an author (h) as counted in Google Scholar, Web of Science, and Scopus
● Percentiles of research outputs as works were cited in some of the top global publications, as noted in Scopus and SciVal
● The field-weighted citation impact, which measures the ratio of citations actually observed to how many would be expected as a world average in that particular field and year, as found in SciVal
Altmetrics, or non-traditional factors of bibliometrics, complement these traditional avenues of metrics. All of these, as well as other factors found in a typical metrics toolkit, help formulate a full picture of the research being considered.
The Influence of Bibliometrics on Academic Impact
As educators have the statistics and data placed before them, they can adjust their instructional methods accordingly. This predetermined, factual information, used along with qualitative measures that are individualized to address the student’s unique needs, allows the teachers to make a bigger impact by using quality content.
Bibliometrics isn’t expected to replace sound thinking, though. The teacher must use their own judgment, combined with the data, to determine relevancy in their classroom.
Educators can choose to deny or approve a source that has high scores when it comes to citation counts but low-quality content. But with so many sources to choose from in any given field, it’s beneficial to be able to narrow down the possibilities to those most relevant.
From a less broad perspective, it becomes easier to choose content that is applicable to the individual’s classroom. Outdated modes of determining relevancy become obsolete, and teacher judgment pairs with science in a final combination of subjective and objective resources to guide curriculum development.
Using Bibliometrics on Impactio
All the data you collect, even when corroborated by scholarly, undisputable sources, is only as good as how it is presented.
When you’ve amassed your research, compiled your metrics, and are ready to use them to display to an audience, display the results through reports created on Impactio. The free, easy-to-use tools allow you to gather, analyze, and develop a professional impact analytics report full of graphs and segmented sections as needed.
Upon completion, the information can be displayed as a PDF file or shared as a web page and accessed as expert research in your field by others.