Article in Nature on the plenitude of scientific performance metrics features the research of Bollen and Vespignani


The relatively new field of bibliometrics has experienced an explosion of research as scientists become more interested in developing metrics that can accurately measure scientists’ performance. The common but naive practice of tallying the number of journal citations accumulated by researchers has serious limitations insofar as many salient factors like the weight of a citation as a function of a journal or database’s popularity, how well an article integrates with contemporaneous research, and individual productivity are not taken into account.

The article discusses Bollen’s concern that the scramble to uncover new metrics and combinations of them has obscured an equal need to define the concepts under measurement more rigidly. It also addresses an approach taken by Vespignani and colleagues to apply the concept of weighted citations to develop a network of over 400,000 papers published over 100 years in order to demonstrate the variable influence scientists have over the scientific community. Read more...