A novel subject-delineation strategy has been developed for the retrieval of the core literature in bioinformatics. The strategy
combines textual components with bibliometric, citation-based techniques. This bibliometrics-aided search strategy is applied
to the 1980–2004 annual volumes of the Web of Science. Retrieved literature has undergone a structural as well as quantitative
analysis. Patterns of national publication activity, citation impact and international collaboration are analysed for the
1990s and the new millennium.