Breum+FunctionalRequirementsBooksCitations_NWB2016poster.pdf (125.61 kB)

The Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) Framework for Indexing Monographs: Implications for the Book Citation Index™ and Metric Evaluations [NWB'2016 poster]

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posted on 08.12.2016, 10:41 by Mads Breum, Kasper Bruun, Alesia Zuccala

In the past, bibliographic data and citation data pertaining to books were difficult to retrieve.  Now, as digital resources have improved, so has the priority to advance book-related metrics.  This is partly due to the introduction of Thomson Reuter’s Book Citation Index (BKCI) (Adams & Testa, 2011) and the addition of books to Elsevier’s Scopus.  These commercial databases; however, are not the ‘be-all and end-all’ for the discerning bibliometrician.  Recent assessments of the BKCI (in particular) point to numerous indexing problems, which can lead to flawed evaluations (Gorraiz et al., 2013; Leydesdorff & Felt, 2013; Torres-Salinas et al., 2014).  Still, researchers continue to use the BKCI or Scopus, and work mainly with book citations from journal articles (Hammarfelt, 2011; Zuccala et al., 2014), or choose alternative resources, like Google Books (Kousha & Thelwall, 2009), Google Scholar (Kousha & Thelwall, 2011) and OCLC WorldCat (Torres-Salinas & Moed, 2009; White et al., 2009).  Concerted efforts are even being made to assess data that has been retrieved from multiple resources (e.g., Zuccala & Cornacchia, 2016). 

The bibliometrics community is making rapid progress, but there are still several issues that need to be addressed.  One in particular is central to all previous studies combined:  regardless of where and how bibliographic and citation data are collected, it is essential to recognize that books often belong to bibliographic ‘families’.   Since ‘bibliographic families’ can be examined both theoretically and empirically, the aim of our study is to examine and explain several interrelated concepts linked to a family-oriented entity-relationship model, known as the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR).  Here, we have chosen to use this model to illustrate the extent to which books, as complex entities, are not always indexed accurately with appropriate metadata.  In the second part of our study, we will present some data collected and assessed from the BKCI, OCLC-WorldCat, and Goodreads, and use this data to demonstrate why a robust model is necessary, first for the practice of indexing books, and more critically for the practice of book-oriented metrics.  The empirical aspect of our research is based on the following question:  Do books currently indexed in the Book Citation Index have adequate metadata and/or data designed to reflect inherent familial components and relationships? 


Adams, J., & Testa, J. (2011). Thomson Reuters Book Citation Index. In E. Noyons, P. Ngulube & J. Leta, Eds.), The 13th Conference of the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics  (Vol. I, pp. 13-18). Durban, South Africa: ISSI, Leiden University and the University of Zululand. 

Gorraiz, J., Purnell, P., & Glänzel, W. (2013). Opportunities and limitations of the book citation index. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 64(7), 1388–1398. 

Hammarfelt, B., (2011). Interdisciplinarity and the intellectual base of literature studies: Citation analysis of highly cited monographs.  Scientometrics, 86(3), 705-725. 

Kousha, K. & Thelwall, M. (2009). Google book citation for assessing invisible impact? Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 60(8), 1537-1549. 

Kousha, K. & Thelwall, M. (2011). Assessing the citation impact of books: The role of Google Books, Google Scholar, and Scopus.  Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 62(11), 2147-2164. 

Torres-Salinas, D., Robinson-Garcia, N., Cabezas-Clavijo, A. & Jimenez-Contreras, E. (2014).  Analyzing the citation characteristics of books: edited books, book series and publisher types in the Book Citation Index. Scientometrics, 98(3), 2113–2127. 

White, H., Boell, S.K, Yu, H., Davis, M., Wilson, C.S. and Cole, F.T.H. (2009). Libcitations: a measure for comparative assessment of book publications in the humanities and social sciences. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 60(6), 1083-1096. 

Zuccala, A. A., & Cornacchia, R. (2016). Data Matching, Integration, and Interoperability for a Metric Assessment of Monographs. Scientometrics. DOI: 10.1007/s11192-016-1911-8 

Zuccala, A., Guns, R., Cornacchia, R., & Bod, R. (2014). Can we rank scholarly book publishers? A bibliometric experiment with the field of history. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 66(7), 1333-1347.


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