Hermes is a project of the consortium of Greek Academic Libraries, HEAL-Link (Hellenic Academic Libraries Link). It stands for Higher Education Research Metrics System. The project is funded by the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs of the Hellenic Republic.


The aim of the project is the development of a set of tools and methods in order to gather, analyze and visualize the research publications of Faculty members and researchers of the Greek Universities. HERMES aims at increasing the business intelligence of academic institutions by developing both a system and a methodology that produces responsible quantitative indicators. The relative advantage of the system is the 3D visualizations that are projected on interactive walls. Therefore, gesture manipulation on a very large scale allows users to explore the data and have a wider view.


The system requires an open, structured and syntactically coherent text file, in CSV format, to be used as input. At this point, the suggested data source is the bibliographical database Web of Science because, contrary to other systems, it offers not only correctly structured information but it also refers to Departments. The CSV file is an open file that allows the use of other sources as well, providing that the data are adapted to the syntax of the original CSV file. Lawful access to WoS is a prerequisite, while data analysis must be in accordance with the terms and conditions of Clarivate Analytics, see 1 and 2.


The system produces fifteen primary key indicators, which may refer to an individual, such as a researcher, and to collective bodies, such as Departments and Institutions. An indicator refers to subject fields where each entity is active, in two levels, e. a main category and subcategories. These indicators are:

  1. Number of papers of a person by the year
  2. Number of papers of a person by three years
  3. Number of papers of a Department by year
  4. Number of papers of a Department by three years
  5. Number of papers of an Institution by year
  6. Number of papers of an Institution by three years
  7. Number of papers by scientific field (in two levels)
  8. Number of collaborations with other Departments
  9. Number of collaborations with other Institutions
  10. Number of citations of a person
  11. Number of citations of a Department
  12. Number of citations of an Institution
  13. h-index indicator of a person
  14. h-index indicator of a Department
  15. h-index indicator of an Institution

The indicators are mainly quantitative and show the main production sizes, either over the last year, meaning until the 31st December of the previous year, or over the last three years.


HERMES aims at automating the process and making it friendlier to users especially the ones who are not familiar with bibliometric indicators, making data production more regular and repetitive in time frames defined by users and raising research community awareness concerning the challenges of quantitative data analysis.

  • Collection: The system uses data from an authoritative database and exploits the different levels of details of information. It acknowledges the limitations of the data, but it can easily manage and process data from other sources.
  • Ingest: the system requires the minimum effort made by the librarian in order to ingest the data. At this stage, data ingestion is performed manually but, through APIs, new ways will be sought to further automate the process.
  • Analysis: Hermes calculates a predetermined set of indicators automatically, based on data entered by the user. of clear entities and clear indicators makes the entire process transparent. New indicators can be produced based on existing data points, such as Access Type of publications. The necessity of uniquely identified entities is imperative for more accurate analyses.
  • Visualization: Since HERMES uses simple forms of data visualization, its analyses are accessible to everybody. The graphs used are pie charts, bar graphs and doughnut charts, while networks are heliocentric, meaning that they are oriented to a single institution.

Technical Information

Visualizations are produced in Unity 2018.2.1f1, which is a cross-platform real-time engine for the development of 2D and 3D games and simulations as well as interactive experiences. Configuration may be performed through a custom data management tool developed in C#, .Net 3.5 and Windows Forms (WinForms). Using a graphical user interface the user can modify human-readable text files in the universally supported XML that can be edited in every powerful text editor like Sublime or Nodepad++, to provide the association of terms (aliases) and other institutional data. Utilizing infrared light emission the system allows for the intuitive manipulation of the bibliometric data with the simple use of fingers. Thus, the application remains user-friendly, not requiring any special skills, ensuring a high-quality user experience (UX).