May 17, 2022

New Article: “Measuring Researcher Independence Using Bibliometric Data: A Proposal For a New Performance Indicator” (Preprint)

The following preprint was posted to bioRxiv on August 9, 2018.


Measuring Researcher Independence Using Bibliometric Data: A Proposal For a New Performance Indicator


Peter Van den Besselaar
Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
Teresa Mom Consultancy

Ulf Sandström
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm


via bioRxiv
doi: 10.1101/388678


Bibliometric indicators are increasingly used at the individual level – as is exemplified by the popularity of the H-index and many other publication and citation based indicators used in evaluation. The issue not is whether these indicators can be considered useful, as they do provide a description of a researcher’s oeuvre. However, at the same time, they are not enough to assess the quality of a researcher and his/her oeuvre: Quality has more dimensions than productivity and impact alone. In this paper, we argue that independence is an equally important characteristic that however lacks validated indicators for measuring it at the individual level.

In this paper, we propose two indicators to measure different dimensions of independence: one measuring whether a researcher has developed an own collaboration network, and another measuring the level of thematic independence. We illustrate how these indicators distinguish between researchers that are equally productive and have similar impact. The independence indicator is a step forward in measuring individual scholarly quality: in cases where citations and publications do not distinguish, the indicators for independence may do.

Direct to Full Text Article (Preprint)
31 pages; PDF.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.