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An attempt to quantify the quality of student bibliographies

Anne Middleton (University Library and Learning Services, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Article publication date: 1 April 2005




To provide a possible methodology by which the quality of student bibliographies can be measured.


The citations in some undergraduate business student bibliographies were categorised by resource type which were designated as either “scholarly” or “non‐scholarly”. A ratio of scholarly/non‐scholarly references – the “scholarly index”, was calculated for each bibliography as an indication of its quality.


The scholarly index did allow differences in bibliography quality to be detected between the different module assignments that were examined.

Research limitations/implications

There are a number of variables affecting the quality of student bibliographies including the library. As a measurement of library impact student bibliography quality has a limited value unless library factors can be isolated from other variables.


This methodology and the scholarly index, could be employed where it is required to assess or compare the quality of student bibliographies.



Middleton, A. (2005), "An attempt to quantify the quality of student bibliographies", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 7-18.



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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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