Bibliometrics: Methods for studying academic publishing

Anton Ninkov*, Jason R. Frank, Lauren A. Maggio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

189 Scopus citations


Bibliometrics is the study of academic publishing that uses statistics to describe publishing trends and to highlight relationships between published works. Likened to epidemiology, researchers seek to answer questions about a field based on data about publications (e.g., authors, topics, funding) in the same way that an epidemiologist queries patient data to understand the health of a population. In this Eye Opener, the authors introduce bibliometrics and define its key terminology and concepts, including relational and evaluative bibliometrics. Readers are introduced to common bibliometric methods and their related strengths and weaknesses. The authors provide examples of bibliometrics applied in health professions education and propose potential future research directions. Health professions educators are consumers of bibliometric reports and can adopt its methodologies for future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-176
Number of pages4
JournalPerspectives on Medical Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Bibliometrics
  • Information science
  • Scholarly communication


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