OT Bibliography 2023: Review of publications using OpenTopography

Jan 16, 2024

Primary support for OpenTopography comes from the Division of Earth Sciences at the U.S. National Science Foundation, and thus, our principal emphasis is on facilitating access to topographic data oriented towards Earth science research and education. In the context of academic research, publications are a crucial metric for measuring impact and sustaining support for initiatives such as OpenTopography. We actively monitor references to OpenTopography in the published literature using web-based searches of online journal databases, and annually compile this information for our use and for the benefit of the OpenTopography community.

Since its initiation, OpenTopography data and resources have enabled:

  • 942 peer-reviewed publications
  • 116 theses
  • 26 book sections
  • 48 reports

The entire OpenTopography bibliography can be seen here. To view the 2023 publications that used OpenTopography-hosted data, click here.

Peer-reviewed publications since 2009. Data source = Publications that used data accessed from OpenTopography. Resource = Publications that cite OpenTopography as a topographic/cyberinfrastructure/education resource.

Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs)

Publications that use OpenTopography data continue to increase, which follows similar increases in available data and the number of registered users. One way that we identify publications using OpenTopography data is through Digital Object Identifiers, or DOIs. A DOI is a unique alphanumeric string, assigned by a registration agency to identify digital content and provide a persistent link to its location. DOIs have become a standard for identifying, sharing, and tracking digital publications, documents, and data. OpenTopography issues a DOI for each dataset we host via the University of California’s Digital Libraries EZID program. When an OpenTopography dataset is used in a publication or other product, the dataset should be cited and DOI should be included. This data citation allows readers to directly link back to the data products, metadata, and other information, and ensures that the original researchers, funding agencies, and other involved in the collection of the dataset receive appropriate credit. This practice is in keeping with FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) data principles championed by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the Coalition for Publishing Data in the Earth and Space Sciences (COPDESS) among others. For more information about how to cite datasets provided by OpenTopography, see our citation guidance page.

Publication Trends

In addition to the increase of acknowledgement of OpenTopography as a resource, the number of publications that use and reference a specific dataset(s) from OpenTopography has also continued to increase since 2009. Since 2018, there has been an increase in citation of datasets that are published via OpenTopography. The OpenTopography Community Dataspace launched in late 2018, and we have continued to see a large increase in researchers publishing their data on OpenTopography before submission of a manuscript, in keeping with the movement towards FAIR data. The Earth and natural sciences remain the dominant discipline that references OpenTopography datasets, with continued increases in the number of remote sensing/GIS and computer science (e.g., cyberinfrastructure, algorithm development) papers. In addition, OpenTopography is also cited as a resource for archaeology, cryosphere research, and urban planning and development.

Pubs by Discipline

Growth of OpenTopography publications per year by science discipline.


Pubs by Discipline

Total OpenTopography publications by science discipline.


We also track OpenTopography's impact on academic research via a Google Scholar account which allows us to compile citations and generate an h-index for the facility. Through the end of 2023, publications that used data from OpenTopography have been cited over 21,000 times, resulting in a h-index of 70. Based on these citation metrics, OpenTopography continues to be a valuable asset to the Earth science community.


Pubs by Discipline

OpenTopography citations as compiled by Google Scholar.


If you’ve published research that used datasets from OpenTopography, please take a moment to review the OpenTopography Google Scholar page and make sure that we’ve included your work. If not please let us know and we will update our records.