Thursday, 21 February 2008

Alternatives to Citation Analysis

Some form of citation analysis is likely to inform the next iteration of the Research Assessment Exercise, the Research Excellence Framework. The debate about what form this will take raises questions about alternatives.

Web Citation Index [WCI] - currently being developed by Thompson ISI applies the principles of citation analysis to Subject and Institutional Repositories. It will apply a rigorous selection process focusing on significant research repositories.

Another approach looks at measuring usage data. This presents problems of what to count and consistency of implementation across data providers. The COUNTER Project has agreed Codes of Practice with data providers for standard reports on journal usage and the use of books and reference works. The Messur Project is exploring innovative approaches to using usage data to generate new metrics,

Data provided by institutional repositories provides opportunities to measure usage data at the institutional level. This might indicate which research is being most accessed externally -and by tracking access - who is using it. Aggregating data across subjects and sectors could enable new benchmarks to measure research impacts.

Underpinning all these endevors is active participation in institutional repositories like BURO.

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