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  • 1 University of Leiden Centre for Science and Technology Studies Leiden The Netherlands Leiden The Netherlands
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Abstract  

On the basis of the measured time-dependent distribution of references in recent scientific publications, we formulate a novel model on the ageing of recent scientific literature. The framework of this model is given by a basic set of mathematical expressions that allows us to understand and describe large-scale growth and ageing processes in science over a long period of time. In addition, a further and striking consequence results in a self- consistent way from our model. After the Scientific Revolution in 16th century Europe, the 'Scientific Evolution' begins, and the driving processes growth and ageing unavoidably lead - just as in our biological evolution - to a fractal differentiation of science. A fractal structure means a system build up with sub-systems characterised by a power-law size distribution. Such a distribution implies that there is no preference of size or scale. Often this phenomenon is regarded as a fingerprint of self-organisation. These findings are in agreement with earlier empirical findings concerning the clustering of scientific literature. Our observations reinforce the idea of science as a complex, largely self-organising 'cognitive eco-system'. They also refute Kuhn's paradigm model of scientific development.

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)