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Science - Biophy Library - Physics: Assessment and Research Output

A guide will help you finf information and materila on Physics


Bibliometrics is:
   + One of many quantitative methods for assessing research impact
   + A range of analyses of publication and citation counts and patterns
   + Widely and increasingly used, controversial, of more use in some
      research areas than others, often contrasted with qualitative peer-review
Who needs to know about it?
   + University management, research offices,  and other reputation
   + Heads of individual academic units and research groups
   + Individual researchers needing to apply for grants and advance
   + Library and information service staff providing research support
Some of the main uses of bibliometrics:
   + Ranking and benchmarking universities and academic units
   + Assessing individual researchers for posts and promotions and grant
   + Ranking journals to draw up preferred targets for publication and
Key metrics:
   + Journal Impact Factor (JIF) for journal rankings
   + H-index for individual ranking
   + For both journal and individual ranking there are a range of other
      metrics available
The main products.
   + Journal Citation Reports and Web of Science
   + Scopus
   + Google Scholar with Publish or Perish software
   + A range of other free web-based resources and subject-specific
How can you find out more?
   + Bibliometrics is a complex area with many applications
   + Contact your librarian for consultation and support, join or request a

NRF Rating and Evaluation

The NRF rating system is a key driver in the NRF’s aim to build a globally competitive science system in South Africa. It is a valuable tool for benchmarking the quality of our researchers against the best in the world. NRF ratings are allocated based on a researcher’s recent research outputs and impact as perceived by international peer reviewers.

Go to the NRF Knowledge Management and Evaluation webpage for more information.

Researchers with NRF rating as at 28 February 2015.

Definition of rating categories.

NRF Online Submission System.

H-index: What it is and where to find it?

While most of us would agree that it’s nearly impossible to accurately describe a scientist’s career with a single number, that doesn’t mean metrics that attempt to do so are useless.  The h-index, originally described in 2005 by it’s namesake Jorge Hirsch, is a measurement that aims to describe the scientific productivity and impact of a researcher.

A researcher has an index of h if h of their papers have been cited at least h times each.

Key Resources: Refer to the Tracking Citations box on this page.

Altmetrics - Article Level Metrics

Altmetrics "is the creation and study of new metrics based on the Social Web for analyzing, and informing scholarship." Some altmetrics systems include traditional citation tools as well as media mentions. For example, this is a list of categories of metrics Plum Analytics includes:

1. Usage: Downloads, views, book holdings, ILL, document delivery
2. Captures: Favorites, bookmarks, saves, readers, groups, watchers
3. Mentions: blog posts, news stories, Wikipedia articles, comments, reviews
4. Social media: Tweets, +1's, likes, shares, ratings
5. Citations: PubMed, Scopus, patents


For assistance with citation reports please contact Maryna van den Heever.

Measurement: Research Ouput

Tracking Citations

Citation analysis involves the construction and application of a series of indicators of the 'impact' or 'influence' or 'quality' of scholarly work, derived from citation data, i.e. data on references cited in footnotes or bibliographies of scholarly research publications. Such indicators are applied both in the study of scholarly communication and the assessment of research performance. This gives an indication of how a paper has been received by the academic community with a high number of citations usually indicating a highly regarded work. Bearing in mind that occasionally a high number of citations indicates a well-known but controversial work which a number of authors have referred to. Citation tracking can also involve looking at the connections between different authors and journals and at patterns in citation and publication over time. Different databases offer the opportunity to sort by number of citations, to investigate patterns, create graphs and maps to provide a visual depiction of these citation patterns, to search within citations and to examine journal rankings.

There are three main sources of bibliometric data: Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar.  Each has certain advantages and limitations which may influence which source or combination of sources you decide to use in your bibliometric search.  All three sources can be used which is a good practice, particularly in the case of resources with relatively small numbers of results or depending on the subject. Read more on the comparison between the main sources.


  Using InCites database you can conduct in-depth analyses of your institution's role in research, as well as produce focused snapshots that showcase particular aspects of research performance. You will be prompted to create your personal sign in to access InCites.

InCites allows you to:

  •    Compare research performance against other institutions and world and field benchmarks
  •    Pinpoint influential and emerging researchers and research trends
  •    Showcase strengths and identify potential areas for growth
  •    Set measurable goals; allocate funds accurately and intelligently
  •    Monitor collaboration activity and track new collaboration opportunities
  •    Support accreditation activity, funding proposals, legislative agendas, alumni appeals, faculty and student recruitment
  •    Plan a research strategy with metrics that can be tracked over time.

Tracking Citations using other resources

ScienceDirect provides the opportunity to see a 'cited by' list. This is accessible by clicking through to individual articles from the search results and can be seen on the right hand side of the screen.

Publish or Perish is a downloadable program that obtains and analyses citation data from Google Scholar.

Essential Science Indicators from Thomson Reuters provedes in-depth analytical tool offering data for ranking scientists, institutions, countries, and journals.

Citations to Books