How Bibliometric Indicators Should Be Used to Assess Excellence in Science and Technology

Claudio Nicolini


In order to identify the best standards for the assessment of world-wide scientific performances at the level of both individuals and institutions, we have carried out a comparative analysis of the relative scientific and technological level of individual scientists and individual scientific institutions for given fields and disciplines, using the prominent bibliometric indicators (patents, citations, publications SCI, impact factor). Individual scientists competing for science and technology career progression and grant awards should be ranked by the number and the total impact factor of their publications as first authors falling into 10 out of 10 deciles. This study, contrary to some gloomy opinions, appears capable to effectively and objectively assess institutions, individual university professors and researchers proving to be quite significant and should be used to provide computer-assisted evaluation criteria for either maintaining or upgrading the given position, maintaining or closing public institutions, and filtering grant applications.