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Objective: The purpose of this paper is to report on a research impact assessment (RIA) project conducted by the Health Sciences Library (HSL) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) for the Cancer Cell Biology (CCB) program in the institution’s cancer center through bibliometric data analysis and visualization.

Methods: A total of 642 publications produced by the CCB researchers from 2010 to 2014 was used as the original dataset. After the citations of these publications were cleaned and standardized, the citations were imported into selected bibliometric and other tools for quantitative analysis and visualization.

Results: The CCB program at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center had significant scientific output and citation impact in the examined five-year period, which was quantitatively measured not only by the total number of publications and citation counts, but also by comparative citation impact measures. In addition, the research collaboration network visualizations helped identify the most productive CCB researchers, the most highly cited CCB researchers, the research groups composed by co-authors, and the internal and external research partners. Further, the research topic visualizations confirmed the alignment of publication concentrations with the five core areas on which the CCB program has been focusing.

Conclusions: The bibliometric data analysis and visualizations produced for this project were able to provide quick insights to the administrators in terms of identified patterns, trends, and gaps of the supported research activities.


data analytics and visualization, research impact assessment, bibliometric analysis


The CCB publication data for this study was provided by both Dr. Chad Ellis, Associate Director of at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and Ms. Susan Keesee, Librarian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Corresponding Author

Fei Yu, The Health Sciences Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 416 Frontgate Dr, Cary NC 27519; feifei@unc.edu

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Copyright Yu & Hayes © 2018

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.