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, contact Joe Farmer in the Office of Research at jpfarmer@bu.edu or check out his webinar presentation on this topic.

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
  • View altmetric data at a variety of levels

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.

The database contains broad bibliometric data and additional altmetric, funding, and patent data. Dimensions also contains metrics specific to NIHNational Institutes of Health funding opportunities such as the RCRResponsible Conduct of Research. Finally, Dimensions also provides easy access to API usage, making it valuable to researchers that are interested in large scale data pulls.

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 https://app.dimensions.ai/discover/publication
  2. Click “Register” in the top right
  3. Enter your bu.edu email and log-in via BU site
  4. Confirm details

Note: Access must come via bu.edu email address only. Access cannot be provided for personal email accounts.

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