Research findings only become relevant in the academic world once they are made public. Depending on the discipline, this may be done through trade journals, articles in edited volumes, monographs and increasingly via electronic media. Such dissemination can be traced by utilising bibliometric analyses. As the preferred dissemination methods, as well as available databases, vary highly in the respective disciplines, each subject included in the ranking has been analysed differently. For this reason, there can also be no interdisciplinary comparison of the key indicators.
Essentially, the investigation of the key indicators covers (i) activity indicators that indicate involvement in the dissemination of academic research, and (ii) quality indicators that measure the response to publications among members of the public that are experts in the respective field.