Bibliometrics are quantitative measures that indicate influence or interest in academic research. They can help to identify key authors and journals within a particular area, and they can also guide searching within academic literature.
** If your interest relates to citation analysis for an Organisation or Flagship, or at a level higher than individual researchers, please visit the CSIRO Science Health and Excellence reporting page.
There are a couple of things to watch out for:-
When explaining bibliometrics, a common question is how does Google Scholar fit in? CSIRO has selected Web of Science to measure citation metrics. Google scholar can be useful in certain circumstances, but it is useful to be aware of its limitations.
Unlike Web of Science, you do not know how Google Scholar is generating its search results, and so you need to judge the validity of the sources for yourself. This also means that you don't know whether the sources included in Google Scholar's bibliometrics (e.g. the citation count) are of a high enough quality. So often the same bibliometric is higher when generated from Google Scholar, compared to Web of Science or Scopus.
Also, bibliometrics aside, while Google Scholar searches some of the resources that the Library subscribes to, it does not cover them all. So relying on Google Scholar alone could mean you miss out on things. Google Scholar also does not have the number of options for refining your search as Web of Science (screen shot below).
H-Index: An author's H-index is the number of papers (n) that have n or more citations. For example, an author's H-index is 7 if she/he has 7 papers that have 7 or more citations each.
Things to be aware of when interpreting h-indexes:-
Whereas bibliometrics look at citation counts, Impact Factors, H-indexes etc, altmetrics look at article level metrics like views, downloads and mentions in news stories, twitter, blogs, and social media traffic. Altmetrics is the name of the group of metrics. Some of the companies offering tools are altmetric.com, ImpactStory, and Plum Analytics. Altmetric.com offers article metrics whereas ImpactStory offers metrics for a researcher's profile.
This demo page on the PLOS mashup site show altmetrics in action. Click on the coloured circle icon next to the title of a paper. Altmetrics can be used to expand a picture of research impact. Like citation counts they should be treated with caution. They measure the amount of 'attention' being paid to a piece of research, but they do not show whether this attention is positive or negative. Altmetrics should be considered as being additional to bibliometrics, as opposed to being a replacement."