Bibliometrics, a useful tool within the field of research

Keywords: bibliometrics, science, research, scientific production, scientific publications


The activity in scientific research has been able to be studied, measured, compared, analyzed and objectified through Scientometrics, discipline that applies to all the literature of scientific character, mathematical and statistical methods, thus achieving, that social aspects of science can be quantified. From the scientific literature, scientific publications (tangible products of the research) are derived, which are specifically studied by the bibliometrics. This last one, is a branch of the Scientometrics, that is guided under the assumption that the scientific discoveries and the research results are published in scientific journals, so its unit of analysis is the scientific article. The word bibliometrics was defined for first time by Alan Pritchard in 1969, and since then, multiple concepts of this term have been developed. However, it has reached to the consensus that this methodological tool allows to know the scientific production (in quantity, quality and impact) on various topics, journals, authors and countries, among others. Its main research lines are the methodology for bibliometrics, the scientific disciplines and the health management and policies. Likewise, it has descriptive, evaluation and supervision/monitoring functions of the research activity, on which its classification into levels (micro, meso and maso) will depend directly. Because it has components from various sciences, among them the mathematics, its methodology and theory are based on mathematical models, from which the bibliometric indicators are derived. Although there are other types of research such as systematic reviews and meta-analyzes, these, require a better management in the field of research and of the statistical measurement, as well as more resources. On the other hand, a bibliometric study owns the nobility of being within the reach of students and researchers due to its methodology, practicality, relevance, resource saving, potential to extend to most of the scientific areas, multiple applications and favoring the fact of not committing ethical misconduct related to research. Finally, although bibliometrics is often underestimated, its power and importance as a tool to manage evidence-based knowledge and to serve as a basis for other types of studies such as systematic reviews must be emphasized.


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