Evolutionary ecology

Seminar on bibliometry

Bibliometrics are increasingly used in research assessments. This seminar will present the essentials of bibliometric analyses, and provide an opportunity to discuss their strengths and wekanesses.

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Bibliometrics are now used in quantitative research assessments of academic output and quality–of journals, institutions, research groups and individual researchers. For example, the recent "Biofagevaluering" included a bibliometrics analysis of institutions, and an academic seeking a job is most likely being analysed based on bibliometrics information. Our publishing is being measured based on in which journals we publish. The Norwegian system currently splits scientific journals in two levels ('2' and '1', or good and not so good?).

In this seminar, we would like to address following questions:

  • What should an individual researcher know about the bibliometrics analyses that are being used?
  • Is there something for an individual researcher can do to improve their ranking?
  • Can institutions manipulate the system to their benefit? Should institutions actively encourage publishing in level 2 journals?
  • Do bibliometrics provide results that conform with other, less quantitative assessments of academic quality? Are bibliometric evaluations fair?
  • Do we like being evaluated this way?


  • Dag W. Aksnes, NIFU (Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education): Bibliometrics — an introduction*
  • Nils T. Hagen, University of Nordland: On the quality of publication performance metrics: An introduction to bibliometric bias from the perspective of a young researcher
  • Howard Browman, Institute of Marine Research: Understanding the game (and gaming) of scholarly publishing and the metrics used to evaluate the output of authors, journals, departments, institutes and countries

The talks are followed by a joint discussion lead by Vigdis Vandvik (BIO, UiB).

*Publication and citation data are increasingly used to analyse developments in science and are also being applied as performance indicators in the context of science policy and research evaluation.  This presentation gives an overview of basic bibliometric theory, data and methods with a particular focus on biology. Topics which will be addressed include bibliometric databases, construction of indicators, interpretation of data, publication and citation distributions, and citation and journal indicators (e.g. journal impact factor, h-index). 

Time and place: 8:30-12:30 11.4.2012, Stort auditorium, Datablokken, HIB

Contact Jennifer Devine or Mikko Heino for more information.