The unit of analysis (objects of study) in bibliometrics and scientometrics View Full Text


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Article Info

DATE

1996-02

AUTHORS

W. E. McGrath

ABSTRACT

Slow development of bibliometric theory may be due in part to neglect of the unit of analysis — the objects described by variables and about which inferences are made. Problems include: inferences are often made on units other than those sampled, leading to inappropriate conclusions; units in literature reviews and meta-analysis are often not comparable, thus hindering cumulation of knowledge; confusion when names of sampling units in one study might also be the names of variables in other studies — e.g., no. of citations (variable) topapers (sampling unit) and no. ofpapers (varible) in journals (sampling unit); loss of information about the unit of analysis, means and variances when data are aggregated. If theory is to advance, scientometrics needs a generic definition of the unit of analysis, a complete list of all known units — classified and structured, meta-analyses, reporting standards — especially when data are aggregated, clear indications of data level (nominal, ordinal, interval, ratio), conventions for including units in titles, abstracts and keyword or subject indexes. More... »

PAGES

257-264

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/bf02018483

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/bf02018483

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1021846258


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