• Open Access

Stimulation of Ideas through Compound-Based Bibliometrics: Counting and Mapping Chemical Compounds for Analyzing Research Topics in Chemistry, Physics, and Materials Science



Counting compounds (rather than papers or citations) offers a new perspective for quantitative analyses of research activities. First of all, we can precisely define (compound-related) research topics and access the corresponding publications (scientific papers as well as patents) as a measure of research activity. We can also establish the time evolution of the publications dealing with specific compounds or compound classes. Moreover, the mapping of compounds by establishing compound-based landscapes has some potential to visualize the compound basis of research topics for further research activities. We have analyzed the rare earth compounds to give an example of a broad compound class. We present the number of the currently existing compounds and of the corresponding publications as well as the time evolution of the papers and patents. Furthermore, we have analyzed the rare earth cuprates (copper oxides) as an example of a narrower compound class to demonstrate the potential of mapping compounds by compound-based landscapes. We have quantified the various element combinations of the existing compounds and revealed all element combinations not yet realized in the synthesis within this compound class. Finally, we have analyzed the quasicrystal compound category as an example of a compound class that is not defined by a specific element combination or a molecular structure.