Benoit Godin's paper "On the origin of bibliometrics"

Michel J. Menou Michel.Menou at WANADOO.FR
Thu May 18 13:17:14 EDT 2006

> B. Godin (2006), On the Origins of Bibliometrics
> <>, Project on the History and
> Sociology of S&T Statistics, Working Paper no. 33, 32 pages.
> *Abstract:*
> Among the many statistics on science, counting scientific papers, or
> bibliometrics, holds a privileged place. Bibliometrics is one of the
> few subfields concerned with measuring the output side of science.
> According to most “histories”, bibliometrics owes its systematic
> development mainly to works from the 1950s (V.V. Nalimov, D.J.D. Price
> and Eugene Garfield), as founders. The few works conducted earlier are
> usually relegated to prehistory.
> This paper documents how the systematic counting of publications
> originated with psychologists. In the early 1900s, psychologists began
> collecting statistics on their discipline. Publications came to be
> counted in addresses, reviews and histories of psychology for several
> decades. The aim was to contribute to the advancement of psychology.
> Far from being a negligible output of a prehistoric type, both the
> volume and the systematicness of these efforts are witnesses to what
> should be considered as pioneering work, and their authors considered
> as forerunners to bibliometrics.

Dr. Michel J. Menou
Consultant in ICT policies and Knowledge & Information Management
Adviser of Somos at Telecentros board
Member of the founding steering committee of
Telecenters of the Americas Partnership
B.P. 15
49350 Les Rosiers sur Loire, France
Email: Michel.Menou at
Phone: +33 (0)2 41511043

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