[Bibliometry of biomedical periodicals]

Rev Mal Respir. 1995;12(6):543-50.
[Article in French]


Bibliometry or the science citation index is a quantitative evaluation of periodical literature, biomedical or others. It depends above all on an analysis of citations which allows for a calculation of different indices characterising and classifying journals (number of articles published, frequency of citation, impact, topicality...). The applications of bibliometry are varied from the administration of library collections to the appreciation of the significance of a review in its own speciality area. By extension the bibliometry index are sometimes used to evaluate the importance of a discipline in the literature, the place of a nation within a discipline, the significance of certain opinions or the quality of research. The intrinsic limits of bibliometry are such that this last application should be handled with caution. In effect, various biases can mechanically affect the value of different indices and particularly the fact that an article appearing in a prestigious review should not prejudge its quality such as the relevance of the question posed, the validity of the methodology employed or the accuracy of the results. For this, the study of citations is insufficient and some qualitative or semi-quantitative criteria bearing on the contents of the article should be used (critical reading, gate analysis, etc.) This general review has, as its aim, to expose both the definitions and limits of bibliometry illustrating them with some information calculated from the principal respiratory journals.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bias
  • Bibliometrics*
  • Periodicals as Topic* / classification
  • Periodicals as Topic* / standards
  • Periodicals as Topic* / statistics & numerical data
  • Publishing / classification
  • Publishing / standards
  • Publishing / statistics & numerical data
  • Pulmonary Medicine
  • Research