LIBRARY SUPPORT FOR RESEARCHERS
Benchmarking is the act of comparing: to define a standard or reference point; or to determine quality or best practice in a particular context. In the process of determining who and what to benchmark in a research/academic institution context, it is imperative that the measurements selected are appropriate and the qualities of the comparison be transparent. Transparency in this context includes the documentation of any known qualities of the institutions being compared that may contribute to bias and underlying informational gaps that may contribute to the interpretation.
Benchmarking is being conducted at every academic institution throughout the world in order to raise awareness, visibility, institutional profile and ultimately gain a strong competitive advantage. Tools used as part of institutional benchmarking include CWTS Leiden Ranking and Time's Higher Education World University Rankings. The Leiden Ranking is particularly robust as it is transparent in its methodology, draws on multiple bibliographic data points to generate a large data pool and applies statistically rigorous algorithms to this data pool.
Elsevier's SciVal is analytical software which uses the bibliographical data of Scopus. It can be used at any level of comparison or individual analysis: Institutions, research groups, and publication sets. University of Manitoba subscribes to this resource. Users must have an account to use it: any University of Manitoba member can create one, or use their preexisting Elsevier account if they have one.
Types of Intuitional Metrics within SciVal:
Examine the total research output of an institution using metrics such as number of publications, number of citations, percentage of documents cited, number of highly cited papers, and number of international collaborations. Determine the research output of an institution by discipline.
Compare the research output and impact of multiple institutions based on different metrics such as number of publications, number of citations, percentage of documents cited, number of highly cited papers, and number of international collaborations.
Examine an institution's collaborations with individual authors, other institutions, and with particular countries. Evaluate these collaborations based on measures such as number of publications, number of citations, percentage of documents cited, and number of highly cited papers.
Benchmarking with SciVal
To learn more about benchmarking research performance, appropriate use of metrics when comparing institutions, and applications using SciVal, Rebecca Reznik-Zellen's article Benchmarking with SciVal in Scholarly Communication and Research Services serves as a digestible, brief introduction.