Library and Information Sciences

pp 137-160

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.


Bibliometrics and University Research Rankings Demystified for Librarians


In the six years since I first researched university research rankings and bibliometrics, much of the world suffered an economic downturn that has impacted research funding and open access journals, research institution repositories and self-published material on the web have opened up access to scholarly output and led to new terminology and output measurements. University rankings have expanded beyond the national end-user consumer market to a research area of global interest for scientometric scholars. Librarians supporting scholarly research have an obligation to understand the background, metrics, sources and the rankings to provide advice to their researchers and their institutions.

This chapter updates an article in Taiwan’s Evaluation in Higher Education journal (Pagell 2009) based on a presentation at Concert (Pagell 2008). It includes a brief history of scholarly output as a measure of academic achievement. It focuses on the intersection of bibliometrics and university rankings by updating both the literature and the rankings themselves. Librarians should find it relevant and understandable.


Bibliometrics Universities Rankings Higher Education Research International Librarians