About the Competence Centre for Bibliometrics

Governance forms in science have changed markedly in recent years. Increased competiveness, internationalization, output-oriented control mechanisms, evaluation, growth of grant-based funding, public accountability, quality management, institutional profiling and strategic planning of research are some of the keywords of what is often summarized as new public management.

Such a steering system not only needs valid information on input, output and process parameters on different levels but also requires a careful analysis of the conditions of the production of knowledge, changes in them and the results of interventions. Given this, not only science policy but also actors such as funding agencies, journal publishers, the economy, members of civil society and the general public are reliant on scientometric information that is subject to regular verification.

One of the central sources of information is the system of scientific communication through which the dissemination and validation of scholarly knowledge is organized. Bibliometrics uses the data on authors, journals, institutions, funding organizations and topics that arise from the communication process and transforms them into indicators, structural displays and indexes.

The Competence Centre for Bibliometrics for German Science funded since late 2008 by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) has constructed a quality controlled in-house data infrastructure for these purposes and uses it for the development and advancement of analytical methods and indicators.

The Competence Centre is an association of institutions working together to contribute to the further progress of bibliometrics and its application. The member organizations are

  • Deutsches Zentrum für Hochschul- und Wissenschaftsforschung (DZHW) – contact person Stephan Stahlschmidt,
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) – contact person Rainer Frietsch,
  • Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies of Science (I²SoS), Bielefeld University – contact person Niels Taubert,
  • FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure – contact person Thomas Bausenwein,
  • Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (FZJ) – contact person Bernhard Mittermaier,
  • Max Planck Digital Library (MPDL) of the Max Planck Society – contact person Margit Palzenberger,
  • GESIS – Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences – contact person Philipp Mayr.

The objectives of the Competence Centre are

  • creation, development and curation of a quality assured data infrastructure for bibliometric applications
  • research into appropriate bibliometric methods and indicators
  • investigations on effects and meaningfulness of bibliometric results
  • to support of young bibliometric researchers
  • to offer services, mainly bibliometric analyses, and counselling for the application and interpretations of bibliometric information.

The activities of the Competence Centre for Bibliometrics are coordinated and supported by its administrative office, which is run by DZHW.


This project is funded by BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany).
Grant number 01PQ17001.