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Visibility and evaluation

Responsible research evaluation in the University of Lapland

The quality of research at the University of Lapland relies on open and responsible operational culture and peer-review. Publication metrics can be used to support qualitative evaluation methods following the principles of responsible conduct of research.

The University is committed to promote the national and international endeavors for openness and responsible research and follows the Responsible Conduct of Research guidelines and the Recommendation for the responsible evaluation of a researcher in Finland. The University of Lapland has also signed the DORA declaration (San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment) and is a signatory and a member of the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment - CoARA.


The quantitative evaluation of scientific publications or in other words, bibliometrics, is a central part of publication metrics. It can be used to assess the visibility and impact of publishing. Bibliometrics is not, however, a tool that can be used to measure the quality of publications straightforwardly.

Bibliometrics is based on the number of publications and the number of references. The numbers can be acquired from bibliometric databases and for example the research portals of the universities.

It is important to note that bibliometrics is not equally suitable for all fields of science. The publication an citation practices differ between disciplines and bibliometrics can not be used to compare them. Bibliometric databases tend to favour for example natural sciences and medicine where researchers publish mainly journal articles in English. Bibliometrics provides somewhat weaker results for the fields of science presented in the University of Lapland as we often publish in other languages than English and many of our publications are monographs or articles in anthologies.

Bibliometric databases


The H-index (Hirsch-index) is determined based on the number of researcher's publications and the number of citations. The larger the h-index is, the greater is the number of the researcher's publications that have been cited. The index can be used to measure the productivity and impact of, for example, researchers, research groups, universities and scientific journals.

It is not possible to compare different fields of science with the h-index. It is crucial to mention what service has been used to determine the H-index as the results can vary between them.

You can find your own H-index in Web of Science and in Scopus if your publications have been indexed in them. The H-index of Google Scholar may feel sensible for human and social sciences as it covers publications of a different kind than Web of Science and Scopus. It should, however, be noted that the reliability of the analysis is impaired, because the exact contents of the Google Scholar database have not been published.

You may also request your own citation analysis or H-index from the library: tietopal


Citation analyses can be used to evaluate, for example, researchers, scientific journals, research groups, and universities. The citations, however, tell more about the visibility and impact of the research than about its quality. Citation analyses can not be used to compare different fields of science.

The sources of citation analysis include Scopus and Web of Science. Please note that the number of citations may vary between databases and no database can cover all the publications and citations. Google Scholar for example often gives larger numbers that other services because its contains also other than scientific citations.