May 12, 2015

Review of Academic Journal Articles that Refer to GoldSim

Posted by Jason Lillywhite

I recently searched for academic journal articles using Google Scholar to see what kinds of GoldSim applications have been written about in the past year or so. Despite the limitations inherent in this type of search, I was able to compile a reasonable list of modeling application categories. The results of this search returned a surprisingly broad spectrum of use cases in engineering, science and business. I was expecting to see one or two dominant areas of focus but instead found a rather uniform spectrum. Many of the applications incorporated uncertainty and/or decision support, which I was pleased to see.

I used Google Scholar to search for articles published with reference to GoldSim with publication dates after 1 Jan 2014. I filtered out any publications that did not explicitly mention the use of GoldSim in all or part of the research. Some papers summarize a comparison of various tools (including GoldSim), which I removed from the search. I also filtered articles published prior to Jan 2014 in order to get an idea of the most recent use cases. Next, I organized the search results into the following categories:
  • Mine Water Balance
  • Risk and Reliability Assessment
  • Water Resources
  • Economic and Business Modeling
  • Energy and Natural Resources
  • Waste Management
  • Other
The categories were created as I read through the abstracts and determined the subject matter being written about. Obviously, each of the papers being written might include aspects of other categories. For example, a paper discussing the simulation of nuclear waste containment (waste management) might also explore a cost-benefit analysis of proposed capital projects (economic and business modeling). I used my best judgment to determine the most prominent subject being discussed in the paper and categorized it accordingly.

Note that most of these articles are referenced on our website, here:, which provides a brief summary and link to download or preview the article.

Once the papers were organized into categories, I tallied up the number of articles in each category. Below is a pie chart showing the relative number of papers in each category. As you can see, the spread is fairly even across the various categories.

I was surprised to see more water resources and waste management papers than mine water balance papers, knowing that many of our customers use GoldSim for mine water management modeling projects. A search of applied GoldSim projects outside of academia would produce different results. This is made evident when you do a Google (non-scholar) search on the phrase "GoldSim Project," which will return, for example, many mine water management related documents.

In conclusion, while this analysis does not necessarily give an accurate or comprehensive view of GoldSim applications, it tells us that the software is being applied to a broad range of research within the categories of environmental management, mining, energy, and waste management, with some focus on risk and uncertainty.