Talent is the key to every organisation's success and global competition for the best talent is becoming more and more intense. In the higher education and research domain, identifying, attracting and keeping the best people and teams is perhaps the most powerful and influential and effective levers available.
The peer review process and in particular the citation is at the heart of scholarship. It makes research the cumulative and global enterprise that it is today and helps recognise, acknowledge and reward the impact of the work of individuals and small teams in a large and diverse community of scholars.
The systematic measurement of scholarship using citation analysis or bibliometrics dates back to the 1960s and really took off with the rise of databases in the 1970s. Citations too are also the inspiration for what has become perhaps the greatest business of our lifetime - Google. Google uses links from other websites, or backlinks as a proxy for quality and relevance but like citations we all know not all links are created equal. The chart (below) shows the number of occurrences of 'bibliometrics' in all English language books rising from the 1970s and interestingly in the last two decades - the era of the web - the use of the phrase 'impact factor' has skyrocketed.
This is where the genius of Google's search algorithm shines as it measures, using the whole web, the contextual weighted value of each of these backlinks. So one backlink from the BBC or the New York Times is worth more than say an unknown blogger. Similarly, we know if one is published or cited in globally competitive and highly influential journals such as Nature or Science, it is not the same as being published in other journals.
At League of Scholars, we use this same approach to rank scholars around the world not simply on their citations or H-Index but also by a new proprietary ranking that takes into account a range of quality and relevance factors such as the impact factor and influence of the venue, industry collaboration and public engagement via high profile media.