Scientometric Research: An overview

The Definition of Scientometrics: Nalimov and Mulchenko (1969) coined the Russian term is equivalent (`naukometriya’) of the term `scientometrics’. As the name implies, this term is mainly used for the study of all aspects of the literature of science and technology. The term had gained wide recognition by the foundation in 1978 of the journal `Scientometrics’ by Tibor Braun in Hungary. According to its subtitle, Scientometrics includes all quantitative aspects of the science of science, communication in science, and science policy (Wilson 2001).

Scientometrics is the science of measuring and analyzing science. In practice, scientometrics often uses bibliometrics, which is a measurement of the impact of (scientific) publications. Modern scientometrics is based on the work of Derek J. de Solla Price and Eugene Garfield. The latter founded the Institute for Scientific Information, which heavily used scientometric analysis. Methods of research include qualitative, quantitative and computational approaches.. However, new algorithmic methods in search, machine learning, and data mining show that is not the case for many information retrieval and extraction-based problems. Related fields are the history of science and technology, philosophy of science and sociology of scientific knowledge. The definition of scientometrics is focused on the study of scientific information given by Barun (1987). `Scientometrics analyzes the quantitative aspects of the generation, propagation, and utilization of the mechanism of scientific research activities.’

Scientometrics – Related fields of Study:

The bibliometric analyses first ever have been carried out by librarians (Cole and Eales, 1917; Gross and Gross, 1927). As a new discipline of library and information sciences, bibliometrics has been developed as a tool for measuring and monitoring scientific output. This has opened the door for new scopes of application, and bibliometrics is gradually transformed into scientometrics. Scientometrics is the study dealing with the qualification of written communication, which helps in the measurement of the published knowledge. Scientometrics studies are gradually becoming interdisciplinary in nature and arc used to identify the pattern of publication, authorship, and citation analysis with the hope that such regularities can give an insight into the dynamics under consideration.

The term `Scientometrics’, often used synonymously as `Bibliometrics’, which originated in Russia, is a quantitative method of application in measuring science, involves counting artifacts to the production and use of information, and arriving at conclusions from the counts (Devarajan1997). The terms like `Librametrics’, Informetrics’ and `Scientometrics’ have been used synonymously to study the growth of publication literature in a discipline and other aspects of literature quantitatively.

Following are the several related scientometrics fields:

  • The Bibliometrics: The application of mathematics & statistical methods to books and other media of communication (Pritchard, 1969). This is the original area of study covering books and publications generally. The term -bibliometrics- was first proposed by Otlet (1934; cf. Rousseau, 2014).
  • The Scientometrics: The quantitative methods of the research on the development of science as an informational process (Nalimov & Mulchenko, 1971). This field concentrates specifically on science (and the social sciences and humanities).
  • The Informetrics: “The study of the application of mathematical methods to the objects of information science” (Nacke, 1979). Perhaps the most general field covering all types of information, regardless of form or origin (Egghe, L. & Rousseau, 1988).
  • The Webometrics: “The study of the quantitative aspects of the construction and use of information resources, structures and technologies on the Web drawing on bibliometric and informatics approaches (Bjorn born & Ingwersen, 2004, p. 1217; Thelwall & Vaughan, 2004). This field mainly concerns the analysis of web pages as if they were documented.
  • The Recent one is Altmetrics: “The study and use of scholarly impact measures based on activity in online tools and environments” (Priem, 2014, p. 266). Also called scientometrics 2.0, this field replaces journal citations with impacts in social networking tools such as views, downloads, “likes”, blogs, Twitter, Mandalay, CiteULike.


Bibliometrics and Scientometrics:

The Bibliometrics is used for developing and measuring information and knowledge transfer in the traditional way that is print-based, as well as the electronic information environment i.e. databases and databanks. his the foundation of much of the technological advancement of the emerging internet, and increasingly, used for the development of human based knowledge systems. Bibliometrics is used in pure research to map knowledge structures to determine such things mentioned below:

  1. The quantitative, as well as qualitative analysis of online databases forscientometrics study, such as citation mapping, visualization, bibliographic coupling, co-authorship network, co-word mapping etc., is carried out by using Scientometrics tools.
  2. The index is calculated based on the distribution of citations received by a given researcher’s publications. Based on h-index, various indices are developed for evaluating the career of individual scientists, according to their scientific output.
  3. A reliable set of several indicators is necessary, in order to explicate different aspects of performance.

Scientometric may belong to the discipline of the ‘science of science’ (Bernal, 1939; Price, 1963; Merton, 1973). The term science of science may be understood, however, as an indication, a discipline that is superior to others. In this respect, the relationships between scientometrics and other disciplines would be similar to that of philosophy as assumed earlier. However, scientometric is not regarded as a field of other scientific fields; scientometric is not the science of science but a science of science for science. Vinkler (2001) said ‘Scientometric is a field of science dealing with the quantitative aspects of people or groups of people, matters, and phenomena in science and their relationships, but which do not primarily belong within the scope of a particular scientific discipline.’ Scientometric covers different areas and aspects of all sciences. Therefore, its laws, and rules of relationships cannot be regarded as being exactly like hard as those of the natural sciences, but also not as lenient like soft as those of some social science disciplines. The Scientometric relationship may be considered as statistical relationships, which are primarily valid for longer sets but with necessary limitations.

The Scientometrics is the quantitative study of the disciplines of science based on published literature and communication and this could include identifying the emerging areas of scientific research, examining the development of research over time, or geographic and organizational distributions of research.

Original Reference Article:

  • Sudhahar, S. (11/09/2017). Mapping of Rubber plant research India A scientometric study. India: Alagappa University .

Md. Ashikuzzaman

Work at North South University Library, Bangladesh.

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