Author: R. Rousseau
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  • 1 KHBO Faculty of Industrial Sciences and Technology Zeedijk 101 B-8400 Oostende Belgium Zeedijk 101 B-8400 Oostende Belgium
  • | 2 UIA, IBW Universiteitsplein, 1 2610 Wilrijk Belgium Universiteitsplein, 1 2610 Wilrijk Belgium
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Abstract  

It is argued that Leydesdorff's theory of citations mixes the ideal or pure case with complicating factors. Ideally, citations are used as shorthand and for ethical reasons. The social network between scientists should be seen as a second-order correction on the basic model or, sometimes, even as noise. Metaphorically speaking Leydesdorff's theory is not a theory about ideal gases, but about polluted air.