, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 157–178 | Cite as

Research performance indicators for university departments: A study of an agricultural university

  • A. J. Nederhof
  • R. F. Meijer
  • H. F. Moed
  • A. F. J. van Raan


The present bibliometric study extends previous work by focusing on the research performance of departments in the natural and life sciences, the social and behavioral sciences, and the humanities. The present study covers all 70 departments from one agricultural university, and several veterinary departments of a second university. The impact analysis was extended by including other types of documents than journal articles. For about a third of the departments, publications not covered in citation indexes accounted for at least 30% of the citations to their total oeuvre. To deal with different citation and publication habits in the various fields, both short-term and medium-term impact assessments were made. The commonly used three year window is not universally applicable, as our results show. The inclusion of self-citations forms an important source of error in the ratio of actual/expected impact. To cope with this, the trend and level of self-citations was compared at university level with that in a matched sample of publications. Moreover, at a departmental level, self-citation rates were used to detect departments with divergent levels of self-citation. The expected impact of journals accounted for only 18% of the variance in actual impact. Comparison of bibliometric indicators with two peer evaluations showed that the bibliometric impact analyses provided important additional information.


Impact Assessment Research Performance Journal Article Citation Index Behavioral Science 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. J. Nederhof
    • 1
  • R. F. Meijer
    • 1
  • H. F. Moed
    • 1
  • A. F. J. van Raan
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS)University of LeidenLeiden(The Netherlands)

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