, Volume 107, Issue 1, pp 305–313 | Cite as

Detecting the historical roots of tribology research: a bibliometric analysis

  • Bakthavachalam Elango
  • Lutz Bornmann
  • Govindaraju Kannan


In this study, the historical roots of tribology (a sub-field of mechanical engineering and materials science) are investigated using a newly developed scientometric method called “Reference Publication Year Spectroscopy (RPYS)”. The study is based on cited references (n = 577,472) in tribology research publications (n = 24,086). The Science Citation Index-Expanded (SCI-E) is used as data source. The results show that RPYS has the potential to identify the important publications: Most of the publications which have been identified in this study as highly cited (referenced) publications are landmark publications in the field of tribology.


Bibliometrics Citation peak Reference Publication Year Spectroscopy (RPYS) Historical roots Tribology 


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bakthavachalam Elango
    • 1
  • Lutz Bornmann
    • 2
  • Govindaraju Kannan
    • 3
  1. 1.LibraryIFET College of EngineeringVillupuramIndia
  2. 2.Division for Science and Innovation StudiesAdministrative Headquarters of the Max Planck SocietyMunichGermany
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical EngineeringIFET College of EngineeringVillupuramIndia

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