How to use bibliometric methods in evaluation of scientific research? An example from Finnish schizophrenia research

Nord J Psychiatry. 2008;62(2):136-43. doi: 10.1080/08039480801961667.


We present bibliometric methods that can be utilized in evaluation processes of scientific work. In this paper, we present some practical clues using Finnish schizophrenia research as an example and comparing the research output of different institutions. Bibliometric data and indicators including publication counts, impact factors and received citations were used as tools for evaluating research performance in Finnish schizophrenia research. The articles and citations were searched from the Web of Science database. We used schizophrenia as a keyword and defined address Finland, and limited years to 1996-2005. When we analysed Finnish schizophrenia research, altogether 265 articles met our criteria. There were differences in impact factors and received citations between institutions. The number of annually published Finnish schizophrenia articles has tripled since the mid-1990s. International co-operation was common (43%). Bibliometric methods revealed differences between institutions, indicating that the methods can be applied in research evaluation. The coverage of databases as well as the precision of their search engines can be seen as limitations. Bibliometric methods offer a practical and impartial way to estimate publication profiles of researchers and research groups. According to our experience, these methods can be used as an evaluation instrument in research together with other methods, such as expert opinions and panels.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bibliometrics*
  • Databases, Bibliographic
  • Finland
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Publishing / statistics & numerical data
  • Research / statistics & numerical data*
  • Schizophrenia*