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Bibliometrics is a way of analyzing scientific publications and their citations using quantitative methods. Bibliometric analyses are used to compare publishing achievements of individual scientists, research groups and institutions. They are increasingly being used as a tool in scientific management, for example, to identify current research trends, or for use in performance-based funding allocation. This requires caution when handling the data, choosing the method and interpreting the results. It is also essential to take into account the differing approaches to research in the various fields.

Our service staff can help you with analyzing publications and citations.

Data Sources

At the TU and the SLUB Dresden, you can access the following citation index databases:

  • Web of Science contains the citation index databases of the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) Arts & Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI), Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI Expanded, SciSearch) and the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI, Social SciSearch). Here you will find entries regarding publications in specific disciplines, as well as cited reference search for conducting extensive bibliometric analyses.
  • Journal Citation Reports (JCR) contains bibliometric features such as the Journal Impact Factor, Immediacy Index or Cited Half-Life based on the Web of Science data. JCR offers quantifiable, statistical information to critically evaluate leading journals.

Furthermore, you can use the following freely available resources:

  • SCImago Journal & Country Rank contains bibliometric statistics for ranking scientific journals based on the multidisciplinary citation index database Scopus.
  • GoogleScholar makes it possible to search for scholarly literature and shows citation data for search results. However, because this tool works via a 'webcrawler', the information is not reliable and should therefore be used with caution.


The basic indicators for bibliometric analyses are the number of publications as well as the number of citations, from which the citation rate can be determined. The citation rate gives the average number of citations of the article. However, practices regarding publications and citations differ in the various fields, and a direct comparison of the numerical values within a certain special field is not always possible, as it depends on the database used. More extensive analyses would require standardization based on clearly defined criteria.

Depending on the enquiry, journal or author-based measures can be identified.

The Journal Impact Factor is a measure reflecting the average number of citations for a particular article. It is calculated from the number of citations of articles in a magazine in a certain year relative to the number of citations in the two previous years. The value is influenced by many variables. These include differing citation practices in the various fields on the one hand, and journal-related factors such as type of article, journal format, title changes, “cited only journals” or restrictions of citations by the editor of the journal on the other. Since 1999, an additional 5-year-factor can be determined.

The h-Index, also called Hirsch-factor, is named after the developer Jorge E. Hirsch. The h corresponds to a number of publications of an author with h or more citations. This is based on a list of publications of an author, sorted by the number of citations in descending order. Advantages are the fact that the high number of citations of individual publications is not taken into account, and the reduced effect of the so-called Matthew effect. However, the h-index depends upon the number of publications of the author, meaning that this method has advantages for experienced scientists.
Originally developed as a factor for comparing authors and as an alternative to journal-based impact factor, an h-index can also be determined for other categories, such as journals or specific topics.

If you would like to use these and other measures, such as the Immediacy Index, Cited and Citing Half-Life, the Eigenfactor score, Article Influence score or SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) for your research, we’d be happy to assist you.

Alternative Metrics

With the ever-increasing number of electronic publications, more and more new metrics are being developed based on usage statistics as an important evaluation criterion. In contrast to the classical citation-based metrics, usage statistics reflect the current scientific importance of a digital document in the professional world. These measures include article-related metrics such as downloads, views, or the mention of scientific publications in social networks and literary reference management platforms.