An examination was conducted of the distributions produced by historical treatments of three scientific specialties: quantum mechanics, plate tectonics, and endocrinology. A citation analysis approach was employed to generate a frequency distribution for year of publication of literature referenced by historians. The observed values were normalized and tested for goodness of fit to each other using a Pearson goodness of fit test. The results indicated that the three distributions were not equivalent. Other parameters of the three distributions did show similarities using aDunn planned comparison approach. The skewness of the three distributions was very similar and plate tectonics and endocrinology were similar in terms of kurtosis. The major conclusion reached was that there were major differences in the three distributions but some similarities in particular parameters were evident. Additional work is necessary to determine causal factors for the differences as well as similarities.
This paper examines four historical accounts of the quantum mechanics problem in physics. The purpose is to describe the litrature used by the histories quantitatively using frequency of date of publication. Additionally, one of the histories was tested against the other three to determine differences. A Moments Test and a t Test were employed. The results indicated the literature history of quantum mechanics, when plotted as a function of frequency of publication date is non-normal, negatively skewed, and is platykurtic. The test for difference between the one history and the cumulative histories was non-significant. Interpretations of the results are discussed.
This paper used data generated in a previous study to model what can be termed fast literature. In this case, the literature of superstring theory was examined to determine if an anomalous case, such as superstring literature, might fit a theoretical distribution. Price's Index was examined and found not to fit the data. The lognormal and the Weibull Distributions both appear to fit the observed distribution; however, the Weibull has better practical as well as theoretical strengths to model superstring literature. It is suggested that the literature of superstrings belongs in a separate class of literature, what we term fast literature. Additional study is indicated to determine if this type of literature is a significant factor in scientometrics.
This paper traced an individual paper through the literature as it garnered citations. This paper was chosen because of its seminal nature in a highly controversial area of theoretical physics. The distribution of citations was tested against models suggested byPrice andKuhn as well as compared to other studies which also examined benchmark papers. The results indicate that the paper chosen behaved in a significantly different way from most of the prior models. The suggestion is made that further study of this and papers like it will add much to the theory of information transfer in science.