Bibliometrics with Python

It’s been a few months since I last posted in this blog. As I am doing my PhD, I have been quite busy learning two things. First, since my background is chemistry, specifically crystal engineering, I have been busy transitioning towards the social sciences. There’s quite a lot of material I had to cover to be able to keep with the latest areas in Business and Innovation studies. Second, having no programming background before, I had to spend some time learning the basics. I am happy with my progress in data science with languages such as Python, R, SQL and other tools like Tableau.  I will cover the pros and cons of learning programming as a social scientist and how to actually learn them efficiently in another post.

For now, I just want to share a Python code I made to convert Web of Knowledge text files to a Dataframe / CSV . This is useful if you want to check each publication manually with Excel before analysis in another bibliometric software such as VosViewer and CitNetExplorer. I also provided a code to convert these back to the original Web of Knowledge format.

Link to ConvertWOStoDataFrame.ipynb

Update: This post is outdated. When I was starting with bibliometrics, I did not realize that you can download a CSV file directly from the Web of Science and this file can be fed directly to VosViewer and CitNetExplorer. Nonetheless, looking back, my lack of knowledge about this feature turned out to be a  good thing  as it pushed me to start learning seriously to program in Python.

2 thoughts on “Bibliometrics with Python

  1. Thank you for your sharing! And hope to know more about why did you make the switch from chemistry to the social science? And what factors drive you to push forward bibliometrics study?

    • Thanks for your comment Dr. Wang. The reason I shifted to innovation studies/social science was that I was really just more interested in the field. While I was doing lab work for my master’s, I found that I did not have the passion to do experiments in the lab. I was always looking forward to whatever applications my lab results would have.

      As for the second question, the tools in bibliometrics have quite a lot of applications. Personally, I would apply techniques in bibliometrics whenever a field of interest has a lot of written work (such as publications or patents). You can use bibliometrics to study how innovation spreads, to study the strategy of various how high tech companies, to understand collaborations in science, to name a few. To sum, bibliometrics is study of published work through statistical methods. Thus, as long as there is data to be analyzed, I would use the tools in bibliometrics as a starting point.

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