Bibliometrics started with Eugene Garfield and the inception of the first journal metric, in the 1960s. Since then the scientometrics community has grown increasingly more interested in the investigation of publications.
In the past few decades research groups have come up with altmetrics to address some of the new needs of the scientific community, such as the ability to compare journals from different subject areas. Scopus decided to include multiple new metrics on its platform in order to provide end-users with various indicators of journals' performance.
The academic community is naturally also keen to see more debate on journal metrics, and their appropriate use. Scopus kept these needs in mind while determining what to do.
This is how Scopus understood the challenge:
- It is a basic bibliometric principle that a single metric to measure anything is never enough to answer all questions. Scopus decided to follow a multidisciplinary approach and endorse at least two journal metrics that highlighted distinct aspects of performance.
- Scopus honored the specialized and multifaceted nature of the bibliometrics field by not developing metrics itself. It looked for expert external partners with whom to partner and to ensure that the values were independent.
- Scopus also decided that its first step into this arena would not be its last. Scopus will continue to work with its bibliometric partners to improve and add to its family of journal metrics based on feedback from bibliometricians, Scopus users and the entire academic community.
Scopus pledges to make the values freely available so anyone can access and use them. This approach was tailored to Scopus users' needs. So far, Scopus has now adopted three metrics: SNIP, IPP and SJR.