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The implicit preference of bibliometrics for basic research

: Donner, Paul; Schmoch, Ulrich


Scientometrics 124 (2020), Nr.2, S.1411-1419
ISSN: 0138-9130
ISSN: 1588-2861
Fraunhofer ISI ()
basic orientation; applied orientation; preference for basic research; normalization by research level

By individually associating articles to basic or applied research, it is shown that basic articles are cited more frequently than applied ones. Dividing the subject categories of the Web of Science into a basic and an applied part, the mean field-normalization rate is referred to the applied or basic part depending on the research orientation of the paper analysed. By this approach, a distinct difference of the citations for the applied and basic parts of most subject categories is found. However, differences of the citation scores of applied and basic research organisations are found as well, but are less clear. The explanation is that applied and basic research organisations generally publish a mix of basic and applied articles. Inconsequence, the standard normalization without distinction of basic and applied papers is generally sufficient for the bibliometric assessment of research organisations.