Bibliometric methods build on quantitative studies of the composition and change of scientific literature. In a research context such methods are used in assessing the scientific productivity of researchers, higher education institutions, and countries.
Bibliometry plays an increasingly greater role in discussions concerning the quality of research, both nationally and internationally. The new system for distributing government resources to higher education institutions (HEIs) was introduced as a result of the government bill on research in 2008, which placed greater focus on bibliometrics. The reason is that the size of direct Government grants for research is determined, to some extent, through bibliometric indicators.
The Swedish Research Council has an international publication database produced by Thomson Reuters. The database is used for analyses, comparisons, and development of methodologies. For instance, the Swedish Research Council analyzed various distribution models on behalf of the Swedish Government, and produced a statistical base for the bibliometric component in the resource distribution system mentioned above.
The Swedish Research Council is involved in discussions with the Association of Swedish Higher Education (SUHF) and the National Library of Sweden to coordinate and collaborate on the construction of a new national database of publications from universities and higher education institutions. The Swedish Research Council also participates in a Nordic collaborative network on bibliometrics within the framework of NORIA-net, sponsored by NordForsk.