Assessing the usefulness of bibliometric indicators for the humanities and the social and beha vioural sciences: A comparative study

A. J. Nederhof*, R. A. Zwaan, R. E. De Bruin, P. J. Dekker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

125 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

An evaluation was made of the use of bibliometric indicators for five disciplines in the humanities (social history, general linguistics, general literature, Dutch literature, and Dutch language) and three disciplines in the social and behavioural sciences (experimental psychology, anthropology, and public administration) in the Netherlands. Articles in journals were the predominant outlet in all disciplines. Monographs and popularizing articles were more important outlets in 'softer' fields than in 'harder' ones. The enlightenment function of scholarship was especially evident in Dutch literature and language, and public administration. Only some of the humanities disciplines are locally oriented. Although many publications were written in English, only experimental psychology, general linguistics, anthropology, and genrral literature were internationally oriented regarding output media. The impact of departments differed greatly both within and between disciplines. For all disciplines, bibliometric indicators are potentially useful for monitoring international impact, as expert interviews confirmed. Especially in Dutch language, Dutch literature and public administration, ISI-citation data are not very useful for monitoring national impact.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-435
Number of pages13
JournalScientometrics
Volume15
Issue number5-6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 1989

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