Eugene Garfield

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See also Altmetrics | Bibliometrics | Citation analysis | Important librarians in history | Paul Otlet | Scientometrics | Scopus vs. Web of Science

Eugene ("Gene") Garfield (nee Garfinkle) (September 16, 1925 - February 26, 2017) was an American information scientist known for his work in bibliometrics. Garfield was founder of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) and a pioneer in citation analysis (also citation indexing). He attended the University of Colorado and Berkeley before getting his Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in chemistry in 1948 from Columbia University. In the 1950s (pre-Medline) he worked on the Welch Library's indexing project at Johns Hopkins' School of Medicine where he indexed documents from medical papers and journals. With a graduate degree in library science completed in 1954 at Columbia, Garfield went on to work as a "documentation consultant" and by 1961 had completed his PhD in structural linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania. Based on his citation analysis research, he established ground-breaking algorithms to calculate the impact factors for journals. His work is the foundation for much of the theory around citation analysis and its related fields, bibliometrics, scientometrics and webometrics. From 1960 to 1992, Garfield was the President and Chief Executive Officer of ISI until the highly-successful information publishing company was acquired by Thomson Scientific. The result of Garfield's research in citation analysis and journal impact factors was the Science Citation Index and Journal Citation Reports, both of which were sold to academic libraries in large print volumes for decades. Later, ISI created the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) and the Arts & Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI). Today, all of these indices form the cornerstone of the Web of Science, or as it is also known, the Web of Knowledge.

In 2007, Garfield launched HistCite, a bibliometric analysis and visualization software package. In his tribute to Garfield (2017) in Nature, Wouters said: "...[Eugene] Garfield's enthusiasm was not the bookkeeper's but the visionary's. He saw in his creations a better science for society and the ideal of a unified body of knowledge accessible to all....".

Garfield introducing citation indexing in 1967

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