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Abstract

In the discussion paper on this issue, Vanclay (2011) describes and uncovers several weaknesses of the JIF based on a thorough literature review and detailed empirical analyses. In this short comment we would like to add the results of two studies to the discussion around the JIF. In these studies we investigated the effect of several versions of one and the same manuscript published by a journal on its JIF.

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Summary The dramatic consequences of the Nazi-power for science are described extensively in various articles and books. Recent progress in information systems allows a more quantitative reflection. Literature databases ranging back to the beginning of the 20th century, the ISI citation indexes ranging back to 1945 and sophisticated search systems are suitable tools for this purpose. In this study the overall break in the scientific productivity and that of selected physical journals are examined. An overview of the citation impact of some 50 leading physicists is given. The productivity before and after departure is analyzed and, in some cases, connected to biographical data.

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Abstract  

In this study the amount of “informal” citations (i.e. those mentioning only author names or their initials instead of the complete references) in comparison to the “formal” (full reference based) citations is analyzed using some pioneers of chemistry and physics as examples. The data reveal that the formal citations often measure only a small fraction of the overall impact of seminal publications. Furthermore, informal citations are mainly given instead of (and not in addition to) formal citations. As a major consequence, the overall impact of pioneering articles and researchers cannot be entirely determined by merely counting the full reference based citations.

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Abstract  

Up to the 1960s the prevalent view of science was that it was a step-by-step undertaking in slow, piecemeal progression towards truth. Thomas Kuhn argued against this view and claimed that science always follows this pattern: after a phase of “normal” science, a scientific “revolution” occurs. Taking as a case study the transition from the static view of the universe to the Big Bang theory in cosmology, we appraised Kuhn’s theoretical approach by conducting a historical reconstruction and a citation analysis. As the results show, the transition in cosmology can be linked to many different persons, publications, and points in time. The findings indicate that there was not one (short term) scientific revolution in cosmology but instead a paradigm shift that progressed as a slow, piecemeal process.

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Abstract

Schubert (Scientometrics, 78:559–565, 2009) showed that “a Hirsch-type index can be used for assessing single highly cited publications by calculating the h index of the set of papers citing the work in question” (p. 559). To demonstrate that this single publication h index is a useful yardstick to compare the quality of different publications; the index should be strongly related to the assessment by peers. In a comprehensive research project we investigated the peer review process of the Angewandte Chemie International Edition. The data set contains manuscripts reviewed in the year 2000 and accepted by the journal or rejected but published elsewhere. Single publication h index values were calculated for a total of 1,814 manuscripts. The results show a correlation in the expected direction between peer assessments and single publication h index values: After publication, manuscripts with positive ratings by the journal's reviewers show on average higher h index values than manuscripts with negative ratings by reviewers (and later published elsewhere). However, our findings do not support Schubert's (2009) assumption that the additional dimension of indirect citation influence contributes to a more refined picture of the most cited papers.

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