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A bibliometric classificatory approach for the study and assessment of research performance at the individual level: The effects of age on productivity and impact

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Abstract

The authors set forth a general methodology for conducting bibliometric analyses at the micro level. It combines several indicators grouped into three factors or dimensions, which characterize different aspects of scientific performance. Different profiles or “classes” of scientists are described according to their research performance in each dimension. A series of results based on the findings from the application of this methodology to the study of Spanish National Research Council scientists in Spain in three thematic areas are presented. Special emphasis is made on the identification and description of top scientists from structural and bibliometric perspectives. The effects of age on the productivity and impact of the different classes of scientists are analyzed. The classificatory approach proposed herein may prove a useful tool in support of research assessment at the individual level and for exploring potential determinants of research success.

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