Dimensions is an integrated database that allows researchers to search and analyze grants, patents, clinical trials, policy documents, and publications. Learn more below. For assistance, make an appointment with BU Libraries Digital Scholarship Services at disc@bu.edu or ask@bu.edu.

Benefits to Researchers

With the Dimensions database, you can:

  • Map out and analyze the research landscape; see relationships between researchers, publications, patents, grants, and policy documents, allowing users to see the whole research lifecycle as well as examine any one point in great detail
  • Identify emerging trends and pinpoint underrepresented areas of research
  • Find sources of funding
  • Decide where to publish your research findings
  • Compare journals, funders, authors, and research institutions

What’s Included

Where citations, grants, clinical trials, patents, and policy documents are usually found in separate resources, Dimensions aims to integrate these data making it possible to analyze the academic and broader outcomes of research.

Dimensions has something to offer almost every discipline. In addition to many STEM topics, there are links to policy documents from governments and NGOs. A small sample of the organizations included are the United Nations, the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Brookings Institution, the Pew Institute, and the Publications Office of the European Union. The built-in journal lists cover many topics including creative writing, performing arts, literary studies, music, philosophy, and history.

Dimensions uses a machine learning approach to create links between data. You can read more about how the data is developed and structured in the Digital Science report entitled “A Guide to the DIMENSIONS Data Approach.”

How-to Guide

Create your account

  1. Navigate to Dimensions homepage
  2. Click on the button that says access for free. The free version of Dimensions is limited to publications.
  3. Click Register in the upper right-hand side of the screen.
  4. Enter your email address.
  5. From there you will be directed to log in with your Kerberos ID and password

The BU subscription gives you access to all content types: grants, patents, clinical trials, policy documents, and publications. It also includes access to Dimensions Analytics which supports complex data analysis.

Other Tips

  • The “workflow” button allows you to access the Dimensions API and documentation for using the API is also available from the same screen.
  • Support and documentation are accessed by clicking the “support” button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
  • ReadCube works with Dimensions and allows you to view PDFs for some of the publications. It also allows you to save and organize articles. Create a ReadCube account by visiting the ReadCube homepage.

Additional Resources