In recent past, statistics has been applied to a number of areas such as perspective planning, industrial and agricultural development, etc. Library and Information managers have adopted a number of quantitative methods. Scientometrics/ Informetrics refer to quantitative techniques applicable to measure the records of scientific communication of an Individual, Organization and a Country. Over the years, several new terms viz. Librametrics to Altmetrics have appeared on the horizon representing quantitative studies in library and Information Science.
Ranganathan introduced the term Librametry for the first time. He suggested to develop librametry on the lines of biometry, econometry, and psychometry (2). His suggestions were avidly welcomed at the conference by Bernal and others. The term Librametrics has two roots: Libra and Metry. The word ‘Libra’ connotes ‘library’ and ‘metrics’ means measurement.
The term bibliometrics was first coined by Prichard (25) in 1969 in preference to existing terminology ‘statistical bibliography’. The word “Bibliometrics” has two roots: ‘biblio’ and ‘metrics. The term ‘biblio’ is derived from the combination of Latin and Greek word ‘biblion’ equivalent to Bylos, meaning book, paper which in turn was derived from the word Bylos, a city of Phenonicia, a noted city for export trade in paper. it is ‘the quantitative treatment of the properties of recorded discourse and behaviour pertaining to it viz. Forms,language,country,authors,growth of literature,obsolescence of literature etc.
The term Scientometrics originated as a Russian term for the application of quantitative methods to the history of science, which studies the quantative aspects of science. Scientometrics is concerned with the quantitative features and characteristics of science and scientific research. Emphasis is placed on investigations in which the development and mechanism of science are studied by statistical mathematical methods. Scientometrics is now considered as a part of the sociology of science and is applied to science policy making. Thus Scientometrics involves studies in: Sociology of Science, History of science, Growth of literature Behaviour of of scientists, Science indicators, etc. Show full scope
Information, in its most restricted technical sense, is a sequence of symbols that can be interpreted as a message. All forms of information, regardless of its form or origin. As such, informetrics encompasses the fields of which studies quantitative aspects of science. It is mostly concerned with development of models to explain and identify the various characteristics of the literature. The term informetrics was then widely used to mean “documentation / information handling activities;” obviously, there is not much difference between bibliometrics of the West and the scientometrics of the East Europe.
Webometrics (also cybermetrics) tries to measure the World Wide Web to get knowledge about the number and types of hyperlinks, structure of the World Wide Web and usage patterns,it is mainly concerned with the computer-science-based approaches, it has superseded all other metric studies in this Internet Era. Cybermetrics is proposed as a generic term for “The study of the quantitative aspects of the construction and use of information resources, structures and technologies on the whole Internet drawing on bibliometric and informetric approaches.” Cybermetrics thus encompasses statistical studies of discussion groups, mailing lists, and other computer – mediated communication on the internet, including the www.
Some of the important studies on theoretical and philosophical foundations in the area are: Law of Scattering (Bradford’s law), Author productivity (Lotka’s law), Word productivity (law of Least Efforts) in 1994 in the Netherlands (Utrecht.) Main tools can be used: Activity Index, Attractivity Index, measuring scientific collaboration (DC, CC, CI), Ranking of organization, H-Index, Impact Factor of journal, Web of Science, SCOPUS, Research Gate, Statistical techniques etc.