, Volume 109, Issue 1, pp 551–576 | Cite as

50 years of space research in Europe: a bibliometric profile of the European Space Agency (ESA)

  • Ricardo Eito-Brun
  • María Ledesma Rodríguez


In 2014, the European Space Agency (ESA) celebrated its 50th anniversary. In this period, ESA has led European programs in space research, and has coordinated the efforts of the national industries through different, successful programs. This paper reports the conclusions of a bibliometric analysis of ESA’s scientific and technical bibliographic production. Input data covering the period from 1964 to 2014 have been collected from the Elsevier Scopus database. Using these data, a set of bibliometric indicators have been obtained to obtain knowledge on different aspects: productivity, collaboration, impact of ESA’s research on subsequent works, and information consumption patterns. The study has made use of the data analysis features provided by the Scopus database, and of two bibliometric software tools: BibExcel and VosViewer. These tools were used to complete complementary analysis (co-citation, bibliographic coupling and clustering) and generate visualizations that support the exploration of data.


Space research European Space Agency Bibliometric profile Institutional collaboration 


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Information and Documentation DepartmentUniversidad Carlos IIIMadridSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de DocumentaciónAgencia EFEMadridSpain

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