Revisiting the scientometric conceptualization of impact and its measurement

Giovanni Abramo

The development of scientometric indicators and methods for evaluative purposes, requires a multitude of assumptions, conventions, limitations, and caveats. Given this, we cannot permit ambiguities in the key concepts forming the basis of scientometric science itself, or research assessment exercises would rest on quicksand. This conceptual work attempts to spell out some principles leading to a clear definition of "impact" of research, and above all, of the appropriate scientometric indicator to measure it. The aim is to stimulate a discussion aimed at a definitive convergence on the meaning and measurement of a fundamental concept of the scientometric science.

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