Why with bibliometrics the Humanities does not need to be the weakest link
- 788 Downloads
In this study an attempt is made to establish new bibliometric indicators for the assessment of research in the Humanities. Data from a Dutch Faculty of Humanities was used to provide the investigation a sound empirical basis. For several reasons (particularly related to coverage) the standard citation indicators, developed for the sciences, are unsatisfactory. Target expanded citation analysis and the use of oeuvre (lifetime) citation data, as well as the addition of library holdings and productivity indicators enable a more representative and fair assessment. Given the skew distribution of population data, individual rankings can best be determined based on log transformed data. For group rankings this is less urgent because of the central limit theorem. Lifetime citation data is corrected for professional age by means of exponential regression.
KeywordsBibliometrics Humanities Citation analysis Library holding analysis Research evaluation
I wish to express my gratitude to the Executive Board of Leiden University, and especially its former Vice-Rector magnificus Professor Ton van Haaften, for the opportunity given to carry out this study. I am indebted to Professors Geert Booij and Wim van der Doel, Deans of the Leiden Faculty of Humanities and their staff, and Piet van Slooten, Director of Academic Affairs at Leiden University, and his staff for their encouragement and support. The project would not have been possible without Professor Anthony van Raan, Director of CWTS, who offered the stimulating environment of his institute and who read the manuscript. Henk Moed, Ton Nederhof, Martijn Visser, and my other colleagues at the CWTS helped me by commenting on parts of the preliminary report and by supplying extra data. I am grateful to Henk Moed for his encouraging me to investigate library catalogues as a bibliometric source. I thank the peer reviewers for their helpful comments.
- Burrell, Q. L. (1990). Empirical prediction of library circulations based on negative binomial processes. In L. Egghe & R. Rousseau (Eds.), Informetrics 89/90 (pp. 57–64). Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Publishers.Google Scholar
- de Solla Price, D. J. (1970). Citation measures of hard science, soft science, technology, and nonscience. In C. E. Nelson & D. K. Pollock (Eds.), Communication among scientists and engineers (pp. 3–22). Lexington: Heath.Google Scholar
- Hirsch, J. E. (2005). An index to quantify an individual’s scientific research output. arXiv:physics/0508025Google Scholar
- Linmans, A. J. M. (2008). Wetenschappelijk onderzoek in de Faculteit der Letteren van de Universiteit Leiden: Een onderzoek naar bibliometrische indicatoren voor het bepalen van impact van wetenschappelijk onderzoek in de geesteswetenschappen. Leiden: CWTS.Google Scholar
- Luwel, M., Moed, H. F., Nederhof, A. J., et al. (1999). Towards indicators of research performance in the social sciences and humanities: An exploratory study in the fields of Law and Linguistics at Flemish Universities. Brussel: Vlaamse Interuniversitaire Raad.Google Scholar
- Moed, H. F. (2005). Citation analysis in research evaluation. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
- Snow, C. P. (1959/1964). The two cultures: And a second look. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar