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Bibliometrics: a Practical Guide

Bibliometrics: How to ...

About this guide

This is a practical guide to help you find publication and citation indicators using the University Library's tools and resources.

Throughout this guide we use the term indicators instead of the term 'metrics'. There are very few true 'metrics' of research performance; citations are an indicator - not a measure - of research esteem.

Limitations and best uses

Responsible metrics Choose your indicators with care. Don't make inappropriate comparisons.

See our Information for Researchers web pages on Citation analysis and bibliometrics for information on the limitations of bibliometric analysis and the 'best uses' of different types of indicators.

How to get help

The Library's Research Support TeamThe Library’s Research Support Team provide general guidance on the use of indicators by individual researchers and postgraduate research students.


Contact the Research Strategy and Policy Office (RSPO) if you are interested in the strategic use of indicators at an institutional or departmental level.

Sources of citation data

Web of Science and Scopus are the best known proprietary sources of citation data; Google Scholar provides free access to citation data generated automatically from its processes for indexing bibliographic records.