In early 2020, UCL’s academic committee approved a policy on the responsible use of bibliometrics at UCL. These webpages were developed to introduce the policy.
Introduction to UCL's Bibliometrics policy
The use of metrics in research assessment has grown in recent years. While this is not inherently good or bad, concerns have emerged within the research community that metrics have become misused and have distorted some research practices.
UCL’s bibliometrics policy outlines eleven key principles. The overarching aim is to balance bibliometric use with additional forms of research assessment, to ensure that research qualities can be more appropriately identified. It highlights the need to evaluate research on its intrinsic value, on its significance and rigour, and not on proxies like the name of the journal it was published in, or that journal’s impact factor. Further, world-class research comes in diverse forms, and so the policy recognizes the diversity of research disciplines and outputs across UCL, and does not impose the use of metrics in disciplines and contexts where their use is inappropriate. Ultimately, the policy intends to support more accurate and fair research assessment across UCL.
The general nature of the policy allows flexibility among research disciplines, but it does also highlight some specific metrics commonly misused. For example, the journal impact factor should not be used to assess individual publications.
Below you can view an introductory video and take our short introductory moodle to get an understanding of the core elements of the policy.
Additional information and guidance
The bibliometrics policy is part of two key broader initiatives at UCL:
The following links will take you to more information:
- the policy proper
- guidance with practical advice on putting the principles into practice
- our external commitments and initiatives that influenced the policy
Training and Support
Training is also available for staff and students through library skills courses and additional workshops. There is also a dedicated bibliometrics email contact (email@example.com) to answer any questions you may have, or to seek assistance in conducting your own analyses.