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What is bibliometrics?

Bibliometrics involves carrying out statistical analyses of scientific publications, such as examining the number of publications in different categories. Examples of areas that can be explored using bibliometrics include:

  • How a topic is structured
  • How researchers/institutions/countries collaborate
  • How researchers/institutions/countries are cited
  • Scientific production and productivity

The results from bibliometric analyses can be applied to assess and evaluate research as well as design strategies for publication. In this way, bibliometrics contributes to a deeper understanding of scientific activity and supports decision-making in the research community.

Why bibliometrics?

Bibliometric methods can be useful during the research process or in the publication of research results. By applying bibliometrics, you can, for example:

  • Get support in choosing a journal to publish a manuscript on a subject.
  • Identify the most productive journals/researchers in a field.
  • Describe the structure of a field and its interfaces to other subject areas.
  • Analyse how researchers collaborate both within and across disciplinary boundaries.
  • Locate the most cited journals/authors/publications in a specific subject area.

NB! When interpreting the results of a bibliometric survey, it is important to collaborate with people who are knowledgeable in the subject area studied.

Research funding and bibliometrics

At the national level, bibliometric measures are used by the Swedish government as an indicator in the allocation of some of the ministry's funds for research and education at universities.

The Swedish Research Council is responsible for calculating a bibliometric index for each university, where the index is based on the number of scientific articles published by the university's researchers over a four-year period and the frequency of citations of these publications. The results are normalized with regard to research areas to compensate for varying publication patterns in different disciplines. This system allows for a fairer and differentiated distribution of funds, taking into account each university's scientific productivity and impact in its specific fields of research.