Galileo as viewed through scientometric looking glass

Journal of Scientometric Research,2015,4,2,85-95.
Published:May 2015
Type:Research Article

Galileo as viewed through scientometric looking glass

Bidyarthi Dutta*

Department of Library and Information Science, Vidyasagar University, Midnapore, West Bengal, India


The scientometric study of individual scientists was started in around early 80’s of last century that required in‑depth data on the concerned person only. Such kinds of studies involved contemporary scientists only. No such attempt for any classical scholar or scientist has ever been noticed. This paper attempts to develop the scientometric portrait of Galileo Galilei, Father of Modern Science. The study of impact of classic scientists like Copernicus, Galileo, Newton et al., through scientometric methodology bears significant implication in the context of history of science, genesis and evolution of scientific thought, sociology of science, etc., The inception of modern science was laid down with the wave of Copernican revolution in Europe in 15th century, with the publication of the book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium in 1543 by Nicholus Copernicus that challenged Aristotelian model. Later Galileo’s telescopic observations and other experimental results added new dimensions to this revolutionary movement. Several new scientific thought contributions to this revolution were continued till Isaac Newton’s work over more than a century later. This study has been executed by studying citations of Galileo’s 11 publications (books, pamphlets and manuscripts) from Web of Science over a time span of 58 years, that is, since 1955–2013. It has been observed that these 11 publications received 338 citations over the said time span from 227 source items including articles, conference papers, review, editorial material, etc. The subject areas of the source items have been studied through keyword analysis and it has been found that Galileo received citations from a wide range of subjects. The co‑cited authors, cited documents, and citation ages are also studied. The substantive numbers of classic scientists such as Einstein, Newton, and Poincare have been found as co‑cited authors of Galileo.

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Dutta B. Galileo as viewed through scientometric looking glass. Journal of Scientometric Research. 2015;4(2):85-95. doi:10.4103/2320-0057.167249.