Workshop Overview: Impact Factor and Other Research Metrics

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: 

1 thought on “Workshop Overview: Impact Factor and Other Research Metrics

  1. Zico Abhi Dey (he/him)

    This is interesting. h-index and impact factor of a journal plays an important role in the publication. Thanks for sharing. Just skimming through the slides and found this on the footnote

    “Bergstrom’s team found that men were 56 percent more likely to cite their own work. In some male-heavy fields, the gender gap was even more pronounced than in fields where female researchers are more prevalent. In mathematics, for example, men were 84 percent more likely than women to self-cite, compared to sociology, where they were only 43 percent more likely to cite their own research. The researchers also reported that this gap has grown in the last 10 years, as more women have entered academic research.”

    I am wondering about the ratio of gender in different fields, also the technicality of research.

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