Bibliometrics is a tool that can be used to understand elements of research productivity and impact.

Bibliometric measures typically include the number of academic publications, citations of a single researcher, a group of researchers or an institution. Bibliometrics should be considered with other tools and processes for a complete picture of research output and productivity.

Key University stakeholders including the Library, Office of Research, Institutional Analysis and Planning (IAP), interested researchers and Faculty representatives participate in a Bibliometrics Working Group (BWG), initiated in 2012 by the Provost.

IAP facilitates and participates in discussions across campus to promote a better institutional understanding of the use and best practices for bibliometrics, as well as other measures of research.

White Paper Update – Call for Participation

This is a call for expressions of interest to participate on one or more of the Task Forces for the White Paper on Bibliometrics Update.

White Paper Update Project Plan

Expressions of interest should be sent to Laura Bredahl at, by the end of the day April 18th, 2022. Questions are welcome.

  • When making expressions of interest please indicate the Task Force(s) you are interested in and whether your Task Force assignment is flexible.
  • Timeline, roles, and more can be found in the [link] White Paper Project Plan.
  • This project will begin in early May 2022 and depending on the role of the participants may extend into 2023. The bulk of the task force participation will be from May-Dec. 2022. There is support from a coop student being provided during this time, and the level of participation by individuals is flexible throughout the project.

Project Overview:

The “White Paper on Bibliometrics Update” will produce an update of the 2016 “White Paper: Measuring Research Output through Bibliometrics.” Since 2016 the “White Paper” has been heavily used as a foundational and guiding document at Waterloo and has gained attention within the bibliometrics community beyond. However, the intention of the document was always meant to be a “living” document with periodic updates. Furthermore, since first publishing the White Paper, there are consistently questions about a) how to better serve the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in bibliometrics and research impact, b) the role of alternative metrics in analyses, c) the intersection of equity, diversity and inclusion and bibliometrics, d) collaboration and interdisciplinarity, e) practical guidance on the responsible use of metrics. There is also interest in looking at the impact that COVID has had on research and related outcomes. This update will incorporate reflections, lessons learned and the modern context into its existing form.

We are not trying to solve problems but are gathering the latest thinking on these topics, exploring the caveats, discussing what issues to consider and moving the current thinking ahead.

Advisory Group Members:

  • Associate Provost, Institutional Data, Analysis and Planning: Allan Starr
  • University Librarian: Beth Sandore Namachchivaya
  • Vice President, University Research: Charmaine Dean

Working Group Members:

  • Chair: Ian Milligan (Office of Research)
  • Research Operations Committee, Office of Research: Swati Bodalia, Diane Johnston, Neil McKay, Antonio Marques
  • Institutional Analysis & Planning: Daniela Seskar-Hencic, Jana Carson, Kerry Tolson
  • Library: Alison Hitchens, Laura Bredahl, Jenny Hirst
  • Information Services and Technology: Gregory Smith
  • Waterloo International: Ian Rowlands
  • AHS: Mark Stewart Dolson
  • Arts: Ana Ferrer, Selena Santi
  • Science: Shirley Tang, Peter Stirling, Kim Arnold, Mary Jane Jennings
  • Math: Martha Foulds, Brittany Reiche
  • Engineering: David Clausi, Veronica Michael, Jon Walgate, Wendy de Gomez
  • Environment: Maren Oelberman, John McLevey
  • Research Centres and institutes: Sushanta Mitra (WIN), Lisa Pokrajac (WIN)

The Working Group on Bibliometrics has developed a white paper outlining recommended practices for using bibliometrics to assess research output. The final paper based on campus wide consultations is available here: white paper.

Key Contacts:

Bibliometrics & Research Impact Librarian:

Institutional Analysis and Planning:

Office of Research: Diane Johnson: