The decade of metrics? Examining the evolution of metrics within and outside LIS


  • Vincent Larivière

    Assistant Professor
    1. École de Bibliothéconomie et des Sciences de l'Information, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada, and a research associate with the Observatoire des Sciences et des Technologies (OST), Centre Interuniversitaire de Recherche sur la Science et la Technologie (CIRST), Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada
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Editor's Summary

Since its start in the mid-19th century, the measurement of document attributes and interrelationships has evolved into the formal field of bibliometrics, becoming solidly established in information science and reaching into other domains. Bibliometric methods have been used to shed light on organizational structure of library and information science (LIS), the reach and influence of LIS research and on interdisciplinarity and the emergence of new fields of study. Data from citation indexes from 1900 through 2011 show the rise of metrics, with the decade starting in 2010 likely to be the most productive and influential. The most cited researchers in information science in 2010 and 2011 focus on metrics, and the use of the term bibliometri* has surged since 2000. The study of metrics in medicine is increasing rapidly, though less so in the social sciences, humanities and natural sciences. Among LIS subtopics, metrics appears to have the strongest influence outside the field.