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Research project When scientists publish they tell the world what their research is about, when, where and with whom it is produced. If we also study citation links we can say something about the impact of research. That is basically what bibliometrics is about.

Each year millions of papers and books are produced in science. Bibliometrics is a statistical technique that can be used to analyse this mass of information. Of course, we cannot really say what science is about without actually reading the texts of researchers. But, bibliometrics has a unique role in that it can give an overview of trends in science, scientific networks and the impact of research. These are things that one hardly can get in other ways. Bibliometrics can also be an important complement to peer reviews.

Head of project

Olle Persson
Professor emeritus

Project overview

Project period:

2007-06-05 2015-12-12

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences

Research area


Project description

Bibliometrics studies, among other things, the interactions, activity and impact within science. Some of the questions we are addressing are:

* What is the nature of scientific networks - between researchers, universities and countries? Who collaborates with whom and who cites whom?

* What is the impact of researchers, universities and countries? How can we make fair comparisons within and across fields?

* What is the nature of the interplay between academic research and technical innovations? Are productive scientists also productive inventors? To what extent do patent to paper citations provide an adequate measure of the interplay between academic research and technology?

* How can we identify, describe and follow the development of scientific subfields? One way is to use advanced bibliometric network and visualization techniques, and combine them with qualitative analysis of interview data.