Bibliometrics provide useful quantitative measures of citation impact but do not on their own provide a complete picture of research impact. Because they reduce complex research outputs to a single number, they have often been misapplied and misunderstood, taken as a proxy for research impact. They report only on the impact of publications and do not capture to breadth of research activity across all disciplines.
There is increasing recognition worldwide of the importance of responsible use of bibliometrics in research assessment. A number of frameworks have emerged to assist with the move to responsible use of research metrics, amongst them ‘The Metric Tide’, the ‘Leiden Manifesto for Research Metrics’, and ‘The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment’ (DORA).
Many research funders, including Science Foundation Ireland and the Health Research Board, have signed up to DORA. The Wellcome Trust will require the organisations they fund to publicly commit to the DORA principles from January 2021.