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Bibliometrics & Responsible Research Evaluation: School Impact / Quality Review

Learn how to track citations to your research and the limitations of using bibliometric indicators

More information about School Quality Review

For more information about the quality review process please visit the websites of the UCD Quality Office and of UCD Research (Intranet login required).

Library support for Quality Review

UCD Library can provide data on research activity for the Quality Review process.

The range of information can include:

  • Publication count
  • Citation count
  • Average citations per document
  • Impact relative to subject area
  • Collaborations
  • Comparison with peer institutions

See some examples of metrics that can be delivered by UCD Library to schools or institutes below.

To generate these data we use SciVal, an analytics tool based on Scopus data.

What a School needs to do

  • Provide a listing of current research staff and faculty
  • Provide a list of potential peer institutions for comparison purposes
  • Think about Scopus subject areas that are relevant to your School for benchmarking purposes
  • Contact UCD Library (e: or UCD Research for more information

Caveats & Limitations

Scopus is a large database, but does have weaknesses in some subject areas. Publications in the Social Sciences and Humanities are not as well represented as in the Natural Sciences or Engineering. Furthermore, non-journal publications (such as books, book chapters, conference proceedings etc.) are not well covered and publications in non-US/UK journals or in languages other than English have also limited representation. That means that not all publications by School staff are included in Scopus metrics.

Scopus attributes one or multiple subject areas to each journal in the database. These subject areas are used, for example, by University Ranking Institutions to rank universities by subject. It is important to know that these subjects do not correspond with Schools’ subjects.

Example: A researcher in the School of Electrical, Electronic and Communication Engineering works in the field of bioelectric signals and has published an article in the journal Experimental Brain Research. The Scopus/ASJC subject area for this journal is Neuroscience, so the publication will be counted under Neuroscience and not under Engineering.

Bibliometrics for the academic unit

Prof John Walsh from the School of Geological Sciences at University College Dublin talks about the value and use of bibliometric analysis when evaluating the research performance of a particular school or department.

Coverage by discipline

Coverage in both Scopus and Web of Science varies greatly by disciplines. Peer-reviewed journal articles are the primary format in both databases, though efforts are being made to add book chapters, conference proceedings and other forms of publications.