The use of bibliometric data for the measurement of university research performance

H. F. Moed, W. J.M. Burger, J. G. Frankfort, A. F.J. Van Raan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

376 Scopus citations


In this paper we present the results of a study on the potentialities of "bibliometric" (publication and citation) data as tools for university research policy. In this study bibliometric indicators were calculated for all research groups in the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Leiden. Bibliometric results were discussed with a number of researchers from the two faculties involved. Our main conclusion is that the use of bibliometric data for evaluation purposes carries a number of problems, both with respect to data collection and handling, and with respect to the interpretation of bibliometric results. However, most of these problems can be overcome. When used properly, bibliometric indicators can provide a "monitoring device" for university research-management and science policy. They enable research policy-makers to ask relevant questions of researchers on their scientific performance, in order to find explanations of the bibliometric results in terms of factors relevant to policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-149
Number of pages19
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1985
Externally publishedYes


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