, Volume 98, Issue 3, pp 1631–1645

Extracting and quantifying eponyms in full-text articles


DOI: 10.1007/s11192-013-1091-8

Cite this article as:
Cabanac, G. Scientometrics (2014) 98: 1631. doi:10.1007/s11192-013-1091-8


Eponyms are known to praise leading scientists for their contributions to science. Some are so widespread that they are even known by laypeople (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease, Darwinism). However, there is no systematic way to discover the distributions of eponyms in scientific domains. Prior work has tackled this issue but has failed to address it completely. Early attempts involved the manual labelling of all eponyms found in a few textbooks of given domains, such as chemistry. Others relied on search engines to probe bibliographic records seeking a single eponym at a time, such as Nash Equilibrium. Nonetheless, we failed to find any attempt of eponym quantification in a large volume of full-text publications. This article introduces a semi-automatic text mining approach to extracting eponyms and quantifying their use in such datasets. Candidate eponyms are matched programmatically by regular expressions, and then validated manually. As a case study, the processing of 821 recent Scientometrics articles reveals a mixture of established and emerging eponyms. The results stress the value of text mining for the rapid extraction and quantification of eponyms that may have substantial implications for research evaluation.


Eponymy Text mining Regular expressions Academic publications 

Supplementary material

11192_2013_1091_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (343 kb)
Appendix S1. (xlsx 345 KB)

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Computer Science Department, IRIT UMR 5505 CNRSUniversity of ToulouseToulouse Cedex 9France

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