Bibliometrics: Methods for studying academic publishing

Anton Ninkov
Jason R. Frank
Lauren A. Maggio
Soort article
Eye Opener
Information science,
Scholarly communication,
Verscheen in

Bibliometrics is the study of academic publishing that uses statistics to describe publishing trends and to highlight relationships between published works. Likened to epidemiology, researchers seek to answer questions about a field based on data about publications (e.g., authors, topics, funding) in the same way that an epidemiologist queries patient data to understand the health of a population. In this Eye Opener, the authors introduce bibliometrics and define its key terminology and concepts, including relational and evaluative bibliometrics. Readers are introduced to common bibliometric methods and their related strengths and weaknesses. The authors provide examples of bibliometrics applied in health professions education and propose potential future research directions. Health professions educators are consumers of bibliometric reports and can adopt its methodologies for future studies.


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