A Concise Introduction to Bibliometrics & its History

- by Wolfgang Glänzel

Classification Governance

ECOOM-UHasselt manages the classification lists of research output, more specifically publications, scientific disciplines, financial lists and technology domains. To this end, ECOOM-UHasselt manages the semantics associated with each of these lists in consultation with the various stakeholders and taking into account national and international trends. The focus is both on defining an unambiguous semantic  of the different classifications as on updating and extending the existing classifications.

Doctoral careers

While the other ECOOM partners address the product of innovation – publication, patents, artistic production – ECOOM Ghent University focuses on the individuals and teams that make innovation happen. To put it otherwise: the focus is on ‘Human Resources in Research’. This includes the production of PhDs, possible barriers and keys to success, the mobility of researchers and the careers of PhD holders, both within and outside university.

Research Excellence

The last few years, the focus of public research funding is orientated increasingly towards programs of excellence. At national as well as supra national level, centers of excellence emerged and various grant opportunities were directed towards high profile researchers. The 6th framework program by the European Commission introduced Networks of Excellence to strengthen excellence in specific research areas. The focus on excellence was continued in the 7th framework program with the introduction of the Advanced Grants by the European Research Council.

Innovation Studies

The research done by the Innovation Studies group is based on the Community Innovation Survey and R&D survey data and methodologies, but is by no means limited to these.

The Innovation Studies group works closely with the Department of Managerial Economics, Strategy and Innovation at the K.U.Leuven. Among others, the research areas are:


Artistic Research

The socalled academisation of Higher Education, and therefore of Higher Arts Education, make questions arise with regard to the possible development of indicators which allow to 'measure' the results of 'research in the arts', and this in the context of a general model of research funding, based on research output, within the Flemish Community.


Patent analysis is one of the main research areas of ECOOM. The analysis of patent information is considered to be one of the best established, readily available and historically reliable methods for quantifying the output of science and technology systems. No other innovation indicator can be traced back over relatively long periods, and at the same time be disaggregated into low levels of analysis, relating to individual economic and technological units. Patent analysis also allows for accurate and precise mappings of the timing of innovation.


ECOOM-Antwerp is responsible for maintaining the Flemish Academic Bibliographic Database for the Social Sciences and Humanities (VABB-SHW). The idea behind the construction of VABB-SHW is to be able to count all scientific publications within the Social Sciences and Humanities disciplines, published by researchers working for one of the Flemish universities. In accordance to the BOF-regulation and the BOF-key, the VABB-SHW made it possible as of 2011 to distribute research funding amongst the universities taking into account all scientific publications.