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  • 1 Universidad de Alcalá Grupo de Investigación en Aprendizaje de las Ciencias, Departamento de Física 28871 Alcalá de Henares Madrid (Spain) 28871 Alcalá de Henares Madrid (Spain)
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Abstract  

The main sociological, philosophical and historical approaches only ascribe a relative importance to the role of chance, error, or accident in scientific progress. The literature on this topic tends to be anecdotal, sometimes hagiographic and rarely systematic. The main goal of this paper is to introduce a new approach to the study of serendipity in scientific discovery. This new approach is based in the study of highly cited papers obtained from theCitation Classics feature ofCurrent Contents. This paper re-examines 205Citation Classics commentaries from the 400 most-cited papers in the recent history of science. Authors of 17Citation Classics commentaries (8.3%) mention some kind of serendipity in performing the research reported in the highly cited paper. Commentaries are classified and discussed in detail. In addition, I have examinated the original papers identified above. In 5 from the original highly cited papers authors explained or gave enough hints on the way the serendipitous discovery was done.

Manuscript submission: http://www.editorialmanager.com/scim/

  • Impact Factor (2019): 2.867
  • Scimago Journal Rank (2019): 1.210
  • SJR Hirsch-Index (2019): 106
  • SJR Quartile Score (2019): Q1 Computer Science Apllications
  • SJR Quartile Score (2019): Q1 Library and Information Sciences
  • SJR Quartile Score (2019): Q1 Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Impact Factor (2018): 2.770
  • Scimago Journal Rank (2018): 1.113
  • SJR Hirsch-Index (2018): 95
  • SJR Quartile Score (2018): Q1 Library and Information Sciences
  • SJR Quartile Score (2018): Q1 Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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Scientometrics
Language English
Size B5
Year of
Foundation
1978
Volumes
per Year
4
Issues
per Year
12
Founder Akadémiai Kiadó
Founder's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
Publisher's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
CH-6330 Cham, Switzerland Gewerbestrasse 11.
Responsible
Publisher
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 0138-9130 (Print)
ISSN 1588-2861 (Online)