The bibliometric bandwagon: Characteristics of bibliometric articles outside the field literature



The controversial use of bibliometrics in scientific decision making has necessitated the need for researchers to remain informed and engaged about bibliometrics. Glänzel and Schoepflin (1994) first raised the issue of bibliometric standards in bibliometric research and this concern has been echoed by several additional bibliometric researchers over time (Braun, 2010; Glänzel, 1996; Abbott, Cyranoski, Jones, Maher, Schiermeier, & Van Noorden, 2010; Lane, 2010; Nature, 2010; van Noorden, 2010; Wallin, 2005). We compare the characteristics of articles published within and outside the Library and Information Science (LIS) field, including the relative impact and the affiliation of the contributing authors. We find that although the visibility of bibliometric articles within LIS is higher, it is not significant. However, a statistically significant growth in the number of articles written by authors without a bibliometric affiliation was found. This article provides an independent empirical investigation of publication trends potentially underlying Glänzel and Schoepflin's (1994) concerns regarding the misuse of bibliometric results, and the inaccurate dissemination of concepts, results, and methods outside of the bibliometric field.