The Dimensions Search Language

Version 1.21.1

Welcome to the documentation of the Dimensions Search Language (DSL) project. The DSL enables users to perform analytics on the Dimensions database.

This documentation contains high-level information about the project and its development, as well as the language’s features and usage. Please see the APIs Homepage for more details about available API packages and subscriptions.


The Dimensions Analytics API is subscription-only, so your Dimensions account needs to be activated for this service and subject to restrictions on use. Please send an email to if you have any questions.

Getting Started Checklist

If you are new to the Dimensions Search Language and the Dimensions Analytics API, here are a few important things to get started.

1. Verify your connection. Ensure you can access the API using your personal credentials, via one of the methods described in the api section.

2. Install the Dimcli client. Dimcli is a command-line utility that allows to quickly create and test DSL queries using an autocomplete mechanism, hence making it easier to learn the language and discover new features.

3. Do the tutorial. The tutorial in the Tour of the DSL section introduces all major DSL topics gradually and with straightforward examples, so it is a great way to get a feeling for what the API has to offer.

4. Browse the data model. The Data Model section includes detailed information about all the main record types available to query, their properties and cross-links.

5. Explore real-world applications. The Dimensions API Lab is a website and Github project containing more advanced examples of how to use the DSL to carry out different scholarly analytics tasks, e.g. building a citation network, doing a journals competitors analysis, or tracking researchers’ affiliations over time.

6. Join the community forum. The API Users Forum is the official channel for versions announcements, news, lessons learned and best practices about the Dimensions Analytics API.