Requesting help with scientometric analysis

Joseph Satish's picture

Dear all,

I am PhD student from India. 

I am a novice in scientometric research and would really appreciate it if members could provide some leads on how I could do a scientometric analysis on a personal database of hundreds of articles sitting on my hard disk.

I have downloaded peer-reviewed journal articles by a handful of contemporary scientists in India and would like to explore common themes across these articles by doing a scientometric analysis of these articles. The challenge is that the articles are not all available in a single electronic database, but I was able to download many of their articles manually from various sources - including personally obtaining them from individual scientists.
I would be grateful if members could share any useful tutorials (books/articles) that I can read to start my research, and what software (preferably free/open-source) I could use for scientometric analysis of articles in a personal database.
Thank you for your time!
Best regards,
Joseph Satish V
University of Hyderabad, INDIA

Hi Joseph,

My dissertation involves building a citation network of 20th c. scientific publications at two labs in the US. A substantial portion of the database is entered manually because existing citation indexes are quite sparse. As I'm focused on citation networks and visualization, I'm not sure how useful my experience will be, but I'm happy to talk any time. Some resources I can recommend:

books and articles

  • Golosovsky 2019, Citation analysis and dynamics of citation networks (just found this, haven't looked at it yet)
  • Hofman et al., “Integrating Explanation and Prediction in Computational Social Science,” Nature 595, no. 7866 (2021): 181–88,
  • Venturini, Jacomy, and Jensen, “What Do We See When We Look at Networks” Big Data & Society 8, no. 1 (2021),
  • Zhao and Strotmann 2015, Analysis and visualization of citation networks


  • A citation manager like zotero or jabref (both free) will let you combine all those pdfs in one place and export a bibtex file, which may be useful for import into another environment
  • This is a list of bibliometric analysis tools. I've used Pajek and VOSviewer but not much.
  • I currently use Gephi for network visualization but it isn't under active development any more. nodegoat has been recommended to me but I haven't used it.
  • OpenRefine is a web-based tool from google that helps you clean and transform data. I haven't used it much but it looks great and it's been highly recommended.
  • I'm currently writing a Python package geared for citation network analysis but it won't even be in a test phase for a bit. Happy to talk about the challenges there if you're thinking about setting something up yourself.


  • Historical Network Research is an organization that focuses on social networks in history. They have a journal but also lists of resources on their website, and I think they organize some events.
  • The Journal of Digital History has just released its first issue, but if it lasts long it should be worth watching for new developments.

Good luck!

Hi Devin,
This is extremely helpful. Thank you so much!
I shall go through the various resources you have shared and will get back to you.
Thanks again!

Best regards,