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The past 10 years has seen an explosion of interest for the area of science and technology labelled “nanotechnology.” Although at an early stage, nanotechnology is providing a space for the creation of new alliances and the forging of new ties in many actor arenas, initiated based on promises and high expectations of the fruits that could be harvested from development and investment into nanotechnology. Those trying to characterise the dynamics of emerging ties and networks within this field are faced with a number of complexities which are characteristic of the nanotechnology umbrella term, which covers many technologies, various mixes of disciplines and actors, and ongoing debates about definitions of fields and terminology. In this paper we explore an approach for capturing dynamics of emergence of a particular area of nanotechnology by investigating visions of possible futures in relation to molecular mechanical systems (molecular machines). The focus of this text is to outline an approach used to map and analyse visions in an emerging field by taking as the unit of analysis linkages made in statements in texts, and the agglomeration of linkages around certain nodes. Taking the linkage, rather than node, allows one to probe deeper into the dynamics of emergence at early stages when definitions and meanings of certain words/nodes are in flux and patterns of their use change dramatically over short periods of time. As part of a larger project on single and macromolecular machines we explore the dynamics of visions in the field of molecular machines with the eventual aim to elucidate the shaping strength of visions within nanotechnology.

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Authors: Johan Bollen, Marko A. Rodriquez, and Herbert Van de Sompel


The status of an actor in a social context is commonly defined in terms of two factors: the total number of endorsements the actor receives from other actors and the prestige of the endorsing actors. These two factors indicate the distinction between popularity and expert appreciation of the actor, respectively. We refer to the former as popularity and to the latter as prestige. These notions of popularity and prestige also apply to the domain of scholarly assessment. The ISI Impact Factor (ISI IF) is defined as the mean number of citations a journal receives over a 2 year period. By merely counting the amount of citations and disregarding the prestige of the citing journals, the ISI IF is a metric of popularity, not of prestige. We demonstrate how a weighted version of the popular PageRank algorithm can be used to obtain a metric that reflects prestige. We contrast the rankings of journals according to their ISI IF and their Weighted PageRank, and we provide an analysis that reveals both significant overlaps and differences. Furthermore, we introduce the Y-factor which is a simple combination of both the ISI IF and the weighted PageRank, and find that the resulting journal rankings correspond well to a general understanding of journal status.

Open access


Akadémiai Kiadó proudly announces the publication of the New Series of Mathematica Pannonica.

Open access