Eugene Garfield

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Eugene Garfield at the Richard J. Bolte Sr. Award Ceremony (2007)

Eugene Garfield (born September 16, 1925 in New York City , † February 26, 2017 in Pennsylvania ) was an American pioneer of empirical information science and one of the founders of bibliometrics .


Eugene Garfield studied at Columbia University , where he got his first degree ( BS ) in chemistry in 1949 and his second degree ( MS ) in library science in 1954 . In 1961 he received his doctorate in linguistics .

From 1955 he initially worked as a consultant for pharmaceutical companies and specialized in technical information by creating Current Contents (tables of contents of relevant specialist journals ). In an article in the respected journal Science (Volume 122, Number 3159, Pages 108–111), he proposed in 1955 to systematically record citations of scientific publications and thus make citation contexts clear. In 1963, eight years after his fundamental idea, he introduced the first Science Citation Index . He founded the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) as early as 1960 and remained its CEO until his retirement in 1992. This institute developed various regularly published citation directories , in addition to the Science Citation Index , the Social Sciences Citation Index (from 1973) and the Arts and Humanities Citation Index (from 1978). Today these directories are available as a database under the name Web of Science . In 1986 he was the founding editor of The Scientist , a bi-weekly journal for biomedical professionals.

He has received numerous honorary doctorates and prizes for his great services . These include the Award of Merit from the American Society for Information Science (1975), the Patterson-Crane Award from the American Chemical Society (1983) and the Derek John de Solla Price Award from Scientometrics magazine (1984). He was also elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005 and the American Philosophical Society in 2007.


  • An algorithm for translating chemical names to molecular formulas (Diss., 1961)
  • Essays of an information scientist (15 volumes, 1977-1993) online
  • Citation indexing. Its theory and application in science, technology, and humanities , New York: Wiley 1979


  • Blaise Cronin, Helen Barsky Atkins (Eds.): The web of knowledge . Medford, NJ 2000. ISBN 1-57387-099-4 (Festschrift for Eugene Garfield)
  • Paul Wouters: Eugene Garfield (1925-2017). In: Nature . Volume 543, No. 7646, 2017, p. 492, doi: 10.1038 / 543492a
  • Special Issue: Eugene Garfield Memorial Issue . In: Scientometrics . tape 114 , no. 2 , 2018.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Scientometrics Pioneer Eugene Garfield Dies. In: The Scientist. February 27, 2017, accessed February 28, 2017 .