Evaluation with Bibliometric Indicators

Output-focused evaluation is undoubtedly relevant to measure science information. The production of scientific knowledge is important for agencies that control research funding. Such measures cooperate to perform predefined goals and objectives. In this chapter, we present a variety of indicators to measure the research at various levels. Parsimony is key in building an effective evaluation tool. Thus, we need to identify what we know and then choose the best indicators that provide accurate information. An evaluation system should be simple, agile, transparent, and easy to use.

Traditionally, the evaluation of research is done with quantitative indicators, particularly through the bibliometric indicators. Even when the evaluation unit refers to countries, institutions, research groups, or research centers, the starting point is the individual production. The collective perspective in there is thus the sum of the individual production of each member (Spinak 1998).

Another aspect of traditional evaluation is its past-looking orientation, with a static perspective. This evaluative format is based on authorship and coauthorships data, and publications and citations obtained in the journals in which the articles are published and in the impact factor of these journals, as recorded by the reference databases. For example, several standard indicators are proposed for the evaluation of the scientific output of research groups by Van Raan (2012). Among the indicators, we note some indicators that measure the impact of the scientific field, of a particular area of knowledge at the international level, provide measure, or draw comparisons worldwide (Table 5.6).

Beyond Van Raan (Table 5.6), the literature points out other works on the evaluation of research and researchers about the evaluation of science. As the collaboration among scientists is undoubtedly our focus and the measures rely, ultimately, on the production of individuals, we need to see the emergence of new metrics.

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