View the PDF document Applications for bibliometric research in the emerging digital libraries

Cunningham, S. J. (1998) Scientometrics 43(2) 161-175.

Large numbers of research documents have recently become available on the Internet through "digital libraries", and these collections are seeing high levels of use by their related research communities. A secondary use for these document repositories and indexes is as a platform for bibliometric research. We examine the extent to which the new digital libraries support conventional bibliometric analysis, and discuss shortcomings in their current forms. Interestingly, these electronic text archives also provide opportunities for new types of studies: generally the full text of documents are available for analysis, giving a finer grain of insight than abstract-only online databases; these repositories often contain technical reports or pre-prints, the "grey literature" that has been previously unavailable for analysis; and document "usage" can be measured directly by recording user accesses, rather than studied indirectly through document references.