I attended this event about “Impact Factor and Other Research Metrics: What They Mean and What They Don’t” by Jill Cirasella (Associate Librarian for Scholarly Communication). While I have not written any formal article yet, I have always been curious about citation and their “importance” ever since one of my former work colleagues who had a Ph.D. once told me his paper finally got cited 100 times (which apparently was an exciting milestone).
This workshop gave a wonderful overview of the context of key citation metrics and how problematic they might be. The metrics discussed include:
- Article Metrics (aka how many times an article had been cited)
- h-index (largest number h for which the author has published h articles that have each been cited h or more times.)
- Journal Metrics (What is the journal’s Impact Factor?)
I also found the discussion around citation gender gaps interesting, here’s a quick summary:
- Men cite men over women.
- Mixed-gender co-authored papers cite men over women.
- Men self-cite more frequently than women do…even in fields with the majority of women authors.
- In fields that are trending toward more women authors, no corresponding trend toward citing more women.
Interesting Visual: It was discussed in the workshop how metrics could be “gamed” by a scholar. The following shows male scholars are way less shy about self-citing their own work (which will boost their metric), which contributed to the citation gender gaps.
If you are interested in the workshop but didn’t get to attend, you can check out their:
- Workshop recording (55 minutes, plus 18 minutes of Q&A): https://youtu.be/aqmqC_FgNjY
- Slides: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1AAdH3H_1UrCu_-DjgmnCxqa7oTdu9ew2G1FfNGNeBAk/edit#slide=id.g9a96ad921b_0_20