Institute for Scientific Information Launches Global Research Report – Profiles not Metrics

Institute for Scientific Information Launches Global Research Report – Profiles not Metrics

Report highlights misused metrics and recommends responsible alternatives


London, UK: January 30th, 2019:  The Institute for Scientific Information, the ‘university’ of Web of Science Group today launched its Global Research Reports – a new series of publications aimed at those who deal with research in academia, corporations, publishers and governments to inform, to stimulate debate and to demonstrate the rich information potential of research data.


The first Global Research Report, ‘Profiles not Metrics’ draws attention to the information that is lost when data about researchers and their institutions are squeezed into simplified metrics or a league table.  Research is not one-dimensional: the process is complex and no two projects are identical. Yet, to the dismay of many, the global research community is surrounded by analyses that claim to measure relative performance among people, publications and organizations, disregarding the counter arguments offered by informed analysts.


It examines four familiar types of analysis that can obscure real research performance when misused and offers four alternative visualizations that unpack the richer information that lies beneath each headline indicator:


  1. Researchers: A beam-plot not an h-index. The h-index is a widely quoted but poorly understood way of characterizing a researcher’s publication and citation profile whilst the beam plot can be used for a fair and meaningful evaluation.
  2. Journals: The whole Journal Citation Record (JCR), not just the Journal Impact Factor (JIF). The JIF has been irresponsibly applied to wider management research whilst the new JCR offers revised journal profiles with a richer data context.
  3. Institutes: An Impact Profile not an isolated Average Citation Impact. Category normalised citation impacts have no statistical power and can be deceptive whilst Impact Profiles show the real spread of citations.
  4. Universities: A Research Footprint, not a university ranking. A global university ranking may be fun but suppresses more information than most analyses and hides the diversity and complexity of activity of any one campus, whilst a Research Footprint provides a more informative approach as it can unpack performance by discipline or data type.


Jonathan Adams, Director at the Institute for Scientific Information explains:

“In re-establishing ISI we committed to supporting the needs of the global community of researchers, research managers, policymakers and publishers with high quality and timely information to inform and support best practice analysis and interpretation of research trends and performance.   In this, our first ISI report of the C21st we examine the efficiency and effectiveness of current metric indicators as we seek to support sound, responsible research management.

“For every over-simplified or misused metric there is a better alternative, usually involving proper and responsible data analysis through a graphical display with multiple, complementary dimensions. By placing data in a wider context, we see new features and understand more and improve our ability to interpret research activity.”


You can download the report here:




About the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI)

ISI is the ‘university’ of Web of Science Group at Clarivate Analytics.  It maintains the knowledge corpus upon which Web of Science and related information and analytical content, products and services are built; it disseminates that knowledge externally through events, conferences and publications and it carries out research to sustain, extend and improve the knowledge base.


About Web of Science Group

The Web of Science Group organizes the world’s research information and data to enable academia, corporations, publishers and governments accelerate the pace of research. It is home to Web of Science – the world’s most trusted and largest publisher-neutral citation index, and independent research intelligence platform. Its many well-known brands also include EndNote, Converis, ScholarOne, Publons,  Kopernio and the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI).


About Clarivate Analytics

Clarivate Analytics is a global leader in providing trusted insights and analytics to accelerate the pace of innovation. Building on a heritage going back more than a century and a half, we have built some of the most trusted brands across the innovation lifecycle, including Web of Science, Cortellis, Derwent, CompuMark, MarkMonitor, and Techstreet. Today, Clarivate Analytics is a new and independent company, on a bold entrepreneurial mission to help our clients radically reduce the time from new ideas to life-changing innovations.


Forward-Looking Statements

This press release and oral statements made with respect to information contained in this release may contain forward-looking statements regarding Clarivate Analytics. Forward-looking statements provide Clarivate Analytics’ current expectations or forecasts of future events and may include statements regarding anticipated synergies and other future expectations. These statements involve risks and uncertainties including factors outside of Clarivate Analytics’ control that may cause actual results to differ materially. Clarivate Analytics undertakes no obligation to update or revise the statements made herein, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


For further information, or if you would like to receive future copies of Global Research Reports from ISI, please visit this webpage


Or contact: Lisa Hulme –

Twitter: @webofscience /   #InstituteSciInfo

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