Journal of Data and Information Science

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Evidence-based Nomenclature and Taxonomy of Research Impact Indicators

Mudassar Arsalan1†, Omar Mubin1, Abdullah Al Mahmud2   

  1. 1 School of Computer, Data and Mathematical Sciences, Western Sydney University, Australia; 2Centre for Design Innovation, Swinburne University of Technology, Australi
  • Contact: Mudassar Arsalan (E-mail: M.Arsalan@westernsydney.edu.au).

Abstract:

Purpose: This work aims to consider the role and some of the 42-year history of the discipline impact factor (DIF) in evaluation of serial publications. Also, the original “symmetric” indicator called the “discipline susceptibility factor” is to be presented.

Design/methodology/approach: Literature was collected related to the research impact assessment. It was categorized in conceptual and applied case studies. One hundred and nineteen indicators were selected to prepare classification and nomenclature. The nomenclature was developed based on the principle—“every indicator is a contextual-function to explain the impact”. Every indicator was disintegrated into three parts, i.e. Function, Domain, and Target Areas.

Findings: The main functions of research impact indicators express improvement (63%), recognition (23%), and creation/development (14%). The focus of research impact indicators in literature is more towards the academic domain (59%) whereas the environment/sustainability domain is least considered (4%). As a result, research impact related to the research aspects is felt the most (29%). Other target areas include system and services, methods and procedures, networking, planning, policy development, economic aspects and commercialisation, etc.

Research limitations: This research applied to 119 research impact indicators. However, the inclusion of additional indicators may change the result.

Practical implications: The plausible effect of nomenclature is a better organization of indicators with appropriate tags of functions, domains, and target areas. This approach also provides a framework of indicator generalization and transformation. Therefore, similar indicators can be applied in other fields and target areas with modifications.

Originality/value: The development of nomenclature for research impact indicators is a novel approach in scientometrics. It is developed on the same line as presented in other scientific disciplines, where fundamental objects need to classify on common standards such as biology and chemistry.

Key words: Research impact, Nomenclature of indicators, Scientometrics, Classification of indicators