View More View Less
  • 1 Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI, Competence Center Policy and Regions, Karlsruhe, Germany; Ulrich.Schmoch@isi.fraunhofer.de
Restricted access

Abstract

Recently there has been huge growth in the number of articles displayed on the Web of Science (WoS), but it is unclear whether this is linked to a growth of science or simply additional coverage of already existing journals by the database provider. An analysis of the category of journals in the period of 2000–2008 shows that the number of basic journals covered by Web of Science (WoS) steadily decreased, whereas the number of new, recently established journals increased. A rising number of older journals is also covered. These developments imply a crescive number of articles, but a more significant effect is the enlargement of traditional, basic journals in terms of annual articles. All in all it becomes obvious that the data set is quite instable due to high fluctuation caused by the annual selection criteria, the impact factor. In any case, it is important to look at the structures at the level of specific fields in order to differentiate between “real” and “artificial” growth. Our findings suggest that even-though a growth of about 34 % can be measured in article numbers in the period of 2000–2008, 17 % of this growth stems from the inclusion of old journals that have been published for a longer time but were simply not included in the database so far.

  • Glänzel, W, Moed, HF. Journal impact measures in bibliometric research. Scientometrics 2002 53:171193 .

  • Gupta, BM, Dhawan, SM. Condensed matter physics: an analysis of India's research output, 1993–2001. Scientometrics 2008 75:123144 .

  • Gupta, BM, Sharma, P, Karisiddappa, CR. Growth of research literature in scientific specialities. A modelling perspective. Scientometrics 1997 40 3 507528 .

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Larsen, PO M von Ins 2010 The rate of growth in scientific publication and the decline in coverage provided by science citation index. Scientometrics 84:575603 .

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Leydesdorff, L, Cozzens, S P van den Besselaar 1994 Tracking areas of strategic importance using scientometric journal mappings. Research Policy 23:217229 .

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mallig, N. A relational database for bibliometric analysis. Journal of Informetrics 2010 4 4 564580 .

  • National Science Board 2010 Science and engineering indicators 2010 National Science Foundation Arlington, VA.

  • Plerou, V, Nunes Amaral, LA, Goplkrishnan, P, Meyer, M, Stanley, HE. Similarities between the growth dynamics of university research and of competitive economic activities. Nature 1999 400 6743 433437 .

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • D. J. de Solla De Price 1971 Little science, big science Suhrkamp Frankfurt/M.

  • Roberts, J. An author's guide to publication ethics: A review of emerging standards in biomedical journals. Headache 2009 49 4 578589 .

  • Schmoch, U, Michels, C, Neuhäusler, P, Schulze, N 2012 Performance and Structures of the German Science System 2011. Germany in international comparison, China's profile, behaviour of German authors, comparison of Web of Science and SCOPUS. Studien zum deutschen Innovationssystem Expertenkommission Forschun und Innovation Berlin.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Seglen, PO. The skewness of science. American Society for Information Science Journal 1992 43:628638 .

  • Stehr, N 1994 Knowledge societies SAGE Publications Thousand Oaks, CA.

  • Thomson Reuters (2012) The Thomson Reuters journal selection process. Accessed 10 March 2012, from http://thomsonreuters.com/products_services/science/free/essays/journal_selection_process/.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • AFJ Van Raan 2000 On growth, ageing, and fractal differentiation of science. Scientometrics 47 2 347362 .