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University of York Library
Library Subject Guides

Bibliometrics: a Practical Guide

Getting started

Bibliometrics can help you build and improve your research profile.





This guide will cover how to:


Responsible use and limitations

Responsible use

Choose your indicators with care. Never solely rely on a single metric and provide context wherever possible.

Take control of your own metrics. Bibliometrics can provide useful quantitative indicators, but cannot measure the true impact and quality of your research. They are a tool for you to evidence your strengths and support your decision-making.

The University of York Policy for Research Evaluation Using Quantitative Data outlines nine "principles by which research evaluation and assessment should be conducted" to enable "good practice and provide clarity for staff on evaluation activities".

We take the position that "there are very few true ‘metrics’ of research performance - they are more accurately ‘indicators’ e.g. citations are an indicator not a measure of research esteem".

The university is a signatory of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), recognizing the need to improve the ways in which the outputs of scholarly research are evaluated.

metrics iconThe Metrics Toolkit (2018) has been developed by an international consortium of librarians and academics, to guide researchers and administrators "demonstrating and evaluating claims of research impact", by explaining "what a metric means, how it's calculated, and if it's a good match for your impact question".

How to get help

Book a one-on-one online appointment or contact the Open Research team (pictured) for help with accessing and analysing bibliometric data.

Profile pictures of Open Research team

You can also contact the Policy, Integrity and Performance team if you are interested in our policy regarding the strategic use of bibliometric data to support departmental or institution-level decision-making.

Training sessions for postgraduate researchers and staff

The Open Research team offer training to postgraduate researchers and staff through the Building Research and Innovation Capacity (BRIC) programme.

To book a session go to: SkillsForge - Postgraduate Researchers or LMS - Staff (login required).

Next sessions:

Show details & booking for all selected sessions

If you need information, take a look at the:

You can also contact the team by email to:

  • ask a question
  • request training for your department, research group, staff and/or postgraduate researchers

Alternatively, book an Open Research Online Appointment to discuss your individual needs.