Bibliometrics (Greek: biblion " book" and métron " measure " ), the statistical bibliography, is the quantitative study of publications, authors and institutions such as libraries using statistical methods. Thus, for example, empirical regularities in the growth of the number of publications of books, the distribution of subjects across journals and the number of citations a journal article to determine ( citation analysis ).


Scientific papers, studies and investigations, which have a bibliometric character can be, depending on the definition, find already for the 12th century in the form of Jewish indexes. The term Bibliometrics itself was introduced by Alan Pritchard 1969. In 1934, however, the term was Bibliometrics of Paul Otlet, the founder of the documentation used. Proposed by SR Ranganathan in 1948 librametrics name could not prevail. One of the first important results of bibliometric counts the finding of a power law in the frequency of use of each word as it was discovered in 1916 by Estoup and formulated in 1935 by George Kingsley Zipf, and later further developed by George Udny Yule, Benoît Mandelbrot and others. The phenomenon was found in 1913 by Felix Auerbach in rank and size of cities and is known as Zipfsches law.

Alfred J. Lotka in 1926 discovered a similar relationship between the number of publications of a person and the number of people with an equally high publication output ( Lotkas Act).

P. Gross and E. Gross was 1927, the first to use quotes as bibliometric data sources. They counted and analyzed the cited in the articles of a chemical journal citations and came up with a list of journals that they considered to be indispensable for chemical education. The analysis of citations is now a standard tool in the evaluation of scientific journals and scientists.

This was due in Science in 1963 built by Eugene Garfield Citation Index has contributed, from which the 1963 also presented by Garfield impact factor is calculated. From the Zitationsgraph to other relationships, such as the 1956 presented by Fano Bibliographic coupling and Kozitationen can be read, which are also the subject of bibliometric research.

Another subject of bibliometrics is who in 1968 postulated by Robert K. Merton Matthew effect, which has been found in various forms in many input bibliometric models.

Other important findings are the 1934 by Samuel C. Bradford discovered Bradford's law and the refutation of the Ortega Hypothesis of Cole & Cole ( 1967). In addition to Zipf's Human behavior and the principle of least effort (1949 ) which is published in 1963 Little science, big science Derek de Solla Price of, the so founded modern scientometrics, the most influential work of the tray.

The most important bibliometric journal Scientometrics is the Founded in 1978, the most important award for the first time in 1984, awarded " Derek J. de Solla Price Medal" awards annually. An international conference is held every two years since 1987, and hosted by the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics ( ISSI ), founded at the conference in 1993.

Bibliometrics is usually used as a branch of Scientometrics (1966 ) quantitative study of science and scientific processes. At the same time it is a specialized field of informetrics (1979 ), the quantitative analysis of information and thus a branch of information science. As in bibliometrics primarily published information units are examined, it can be assigned to and the library science. With the increase of online publications on the Internet, there are increasingly overlapping with the webometrics.


One application of Bibliometrics is the quantitative evaluation of scientists and scientific institutions based on their publications. In the citation analysis Zitierungsdatenbanken to be like the Web of Science ( formerly Science Citation Index ) is used to store information on individual journal articles and references in them to other articles ( citations). It is assumed that articles that are cited more frequently, are of particular importance and are related to the research output of a scientist. The various journals are weighted according to their impact factor with the so-called Impact.

This method of evaluation of personal performance of scientists on the basis of citation of their essays is not without controversy. In a report of the International Mathematical Union impermissible conclusions of bibliometric data is warned of the widespread practice. For small magazines from year to year vacillate the impact factor strongly. Also can not necessarily be inferred from the quality of a journal on the quality of an article. "On the contrary: If a journal A on the basis of a good hundred articles per year, an average citation rate of 0.4 and a journal B in the same subject at more than fifty articles a impact factor of 0.8, then there is the probability of error of judgment, a randomly selected essay in a is better than one in B, with more than sixty percent.

But if the evaluation of individual items due to their publication place is questionable, then so holds the actuarial report, is a judgment about individual scientists and are not possible comparisons between them. This also applied to other, more sophisticated scale indicators such as the so-called Hirsch index and currently popular. "

The figures compiled by bibliometrics and observed regularities are particularly useful for libraries of practical importance (see also German Library Statistics ).

Bibliometrics uses methods of data mining.

In addition to the scientific output measurability allows bibliometrics to observe topics (see citation ): What topics are currently being discussed scientifically, what area is much published?

The most important statements of bibliometric analyzes can be seen in the citation rate and the impact factor.

Pictures of Bibliometrics