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Bibliometrics and Research Impact

Bibliometrics and Research Impact

Bibliometrics is a set of methods for the statistical analysis of scientific publications. It can help create an overview of different aspects stemming from scientific research. For example, we can try to identify trends within a grouping of scientific literature, or provide indicators regarding the output of a research group or of collaborations between two institutions.

If you have a project in mind, but are not sure how to get started or if the Library can offer you assistance....

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The Library's Consulting Services team can offer you help with bibliometrics for various types of projects, such as:

  • Grant or funding requests
  • Development of partnership agreements
  • Overview of a research area or subject
  • Journal evaluations
  • Researcher profiles
  • Portrait of a research group or department (production, impact, collaborations, etc.)

The Library can also offer: 

  • Training and presentations on bibliometrics and bibliometric indicators
  • Advice for using bibliometric tools
  • Help for the proper interpretation of bibliometric indicators

Here are some indicators that can be provided, depending on the type of project:

  • Number of publications
  • Number of citations
  • Journal Impact Factor (JIF)
  • Number of publications written collaboratively (between countries, institutions, researchers, etc.)
  • Category Normalized Citation Impact (CNCI)
  • Other research indicators available in InCites (see list)
  • Number and ratio of articles published in open access (Green, Gold, etc.)
  • Breakdown of publications by research area
  • Alternative impact measures (Altmetric


The main tools available at Polytechnique Montréal are from the Clarivate Analytics product suite

  • Web of Science: Bibliographic database which offers citation data and basic analytical tools. Web of Science indexes over 21 000 journals, 134 000 books, and 300 000 conference proceedings, covering all scientific and engineering fields. In 2021, the Library subscribed to content published since 1900. Prior to that date, coverage began in 1989. Most articles published by authors associated with Polytechnique Montréal can be found in Web of Science, but it is not an exhaustive list. For example, it allows users to;
    • Identify works which cite a certain article
    • Identify the most cited articles within a particular field
  • Journal Citation Reports (JCR): Database which offers bibliometric data on journals, including their impact factor. JCR uses data from the Web of Science Core Collection (over 21 000 journals). For example, it allows users to:
    • Find a journal's impact factor
    • Identify top journals in a particular field
  • InCites: Analytical tool for bibliometrics which uses data from the Web of Science Core Collection (authors, institutions, collaborations, funding, etc.) for which coverage begins in 1980. InCites allows you to analyze a corpus of publications using various bibliometric indicators, some of which are exclusive to the platform. You can personalize the publications being analyzed by filtering the results, or by transferring the corpus created from a Web of Science search. In order to access this resource, you must first create a user account using your Polytechnique email. For example, it allows you to :
    • Examine publications created in collaboration between two universities
    • Measure the proportion of a corpus' publications in open access (Green, Gold, etc.)

Other databases can also be used for certain projects, such as Compendex or Inspec. The Library does not have a subscription to the Scopus database, which is also often used for bibliometrics.

Resources for Research Evaluation Ethics

  • The Library's Guide on Promoting Your Research Activities Polytechnique Montréal
  • The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA): "The [Declaration] recognizes the need to improve the ways in which the outputs of scholarly research are evaluated, beyond the widely used journal impact factor. [...] DORA aims to advance practical and robust approaches to research assessment globally and across all scholarly disciplines. It draws attention to the problem of the overreliance on journal-based metrics in hiring, promotion, and funding decisions, and encourages a community-driven change." (NSERC). The FRQ, CIHR, SSHRC and NSERC are all signatories of DORA.
  • Leiden Manifesto: Ten principles for improving research evaluation developed by an expert panel in 2015. See also Bibliometrics: The Leiden Manifesto for research metrics
  • Metrics Toolkit: Set of fact sheets to help academics and editors use certain bibliometric indicators responsibly during research evaluation.
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