Bibliometric differences: a case study in bibliometric evaluation across SSH and STEM

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to acknowledge that there are bibliometric differences between Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) vs Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). It is not so that either SSH or STEM has the right way of doing research or working as a scholarly community. Accordingly, research evaluation is not done properly in one framework based on either a method from SSH or STEM. However, performing research evaluation in two separate frameworks also has disadvantages. One way of scholarly practice may be favored unintentionally in evaluations and in research profiling, which is necessary for job and grant applications. Design/methodology/approach: In the case study, the authors propose a tool where it may be possible, on one hand, to evaluate across disciplines and on the other hand to keep the multifaceted perspective on the disciplines. Case data describe professors at an SSH and a STEM department at Aalborg University. Ten partial indicators are compiled to build a performance web – a multidimensional description – and a one-dimensional ranking of professors at the two departments. The partial indicators are selected in a way that they should cover a broad variety of scholarly practice and differences in data availability. Findings: A tool which can be used both for a one-dimensional ranking of researchers and for a multidimensional description is described in the paper. Research limitations/implications: Limitations of the study are that panel-based evaluation is left out and that the number of partial indicators is set to 10. Originality/value: The paper describes a new tool that may be an inspiration for practitioners in research analytics.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Documentation
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)366-378
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2019


  • Benchmarking
  • Bibliometric model
  • Knowledge frameworks
  • Research impact
  • Scholarly communications
  • Societal impact


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