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  • Author or Editor: Henry Small x
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Abstract

It is proposed that citation contexts, the text surrounding references in scientific papers, be analyzed in terms of an expanded notion of sentiment, defined to include attitudes and dispositions toward the cited work. Maps of science at both the specialty and global levels are used as the basis of this analysis. Citation context samples are taken at these levels and contrasted for the appearance of cue word sets, analyzed with the aid of methods from corpus linguistics. Sentiments are shown to vary within a specialty and can be understood in terms of cognitive and social factors. Within-specialty and between-specialty co-citations are contrasted and in some cases suggest a correlation of sentiment with structural location. For example, the sentiment of “uncertainty” is important in interdisciplinary co-citation links, while “utility” is more prevalent within the specialty. Suggestions are made for linking sentiments to technical terms, and for developing sentiment “baselines” for all of science.

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Summary  

We explore the possibility of using co-citation clusters over three time periods to track the emergence and growth of research areas, and predict their near term change. Data sets are from three overlapping six-year periods: 1996-2001, 1997-2002 and 1998-2003. The methodologies of co-citation clustering, mapping, and string formation are reviewed, and a measure of cluster currency is defined as the average age of highly cited papers relative to the year span of the data set. An association is found between the currency variable in a prior period and the percentage change in cluster size and citation frequency in the following period. The conflating factor of “single-issue clusters” is discussed and dealt with using a new metric called in-group citation.

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Abstract  

Despite the similarity of the above title to a movie of recent vintage, I do not want to give the impression that this is material for a Hollywood script about two guys who attempt to drive off a cliff. I undertake this account of my work with Belver Griffith, not so much as history, but more as personal therapy, reflection on a creative and sometimes difficult collaboration, and an opportunity to contrast our views.

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Abstract  

Interdisciplinarity can be manifest in many forms: through collaboration or communication between scientists working in different fields or through the work of individual scientists who employ concepts or methods across disciplines. This latter form of interdisciplinarity is addressed here with the goal of understanding how ideas in different fields come together to create new opportunities for discovery. Maps of science are used to suggest possible interdisciplinary links which are then analyzed by co-citation context analysis. Interdisciplinary links are identified by juxtaposing a clustering and mapping of documents against a journal-based categorization of the same document clusters. Links between clusters are characterized as interdisciplinary based on the dissonance of their category assignments. To verify and probe more deeply into the meaning of interdisciplinary links, co-citation contexts for selected links from five separate cases are analyzed in terms of prominent cue words. This analysis reveals that interdisciplinary connections are often based on authors’ perceptions of analogous problems across scientific domains. Cue words drawn from the citation contexts also suggest that these connections are viewed as important and ripe with both opportunity and risk.

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In a series of seminal studies Robert K. Merton created a coherent theoretical view of the social system of science that includes the salient features of the formal publication system, thereby providing a theoretical basis for scientometrics and citationology. A fundamental precept of this system is the view of citations as symbolic payment of intellectual debts. When this concept is merged with a complementary theory of the conceptual symbolism of citations, the possibility for a rapprochement of the normative and constructivist theories is achieved, where the dual function of citations as vehicles of peer recognition and constructed symbols for specific original achievements in science is realized. This new synthesis is embodied in a citation classification system, the citation cube, with dimensions of normative compliance, symbolic consensus, and disinterestedness (self-citation).

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Abstract  

A case study of an emerging research area is presented dealing with the creation of organic thin film transistors, a subtopic within the general area called “plastic electronics.” The purpose of this case study is to determine the structural properties of the citation network that may be characteristic of the emergence, development, and application or demise of a research area. Research on organic thin film transistors is highly interdisciplinary, involving journals and research groups from physics, chemistry, materials science, and engineering. There is a clear path to industrial applications if certain technical problems can be overcome. Despite the applied nature and potential for patentable inventions, scholarly publications from both academia and industry have continued at a rapid pace through 2007. The question is whether the bibliometric indicators point to a decline in this area due to imminent commercialization or to insurmountable technical problems with these materials.

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Abstract  

Research fronts represent the most dynamic areas of science and technology and the areas that attract the most scientific interest. We construct a methodology to identify these fronts, and we use quantitative and qualitative methodology to analyze and describe them. Our methodology is able to identify these fronts as they form—with potential use by firms, venture capitalists, researchers, and governments looking to identify emerging high-impact technologies. We also examine how science and technology absorbs the knowledge developed in these fronts and find that fronts which maximize impact have very different characteristics than fronts which maximize growth, with consequences for the way science develops over time.

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Abstract  

We explore an empirical approach to studying the social and political implications of science by gathering scientists’ perceptions of the social impacts of their research. It was found that 78 percent of surveyed scientists from a variety of fields responding to a survey indicated that the research performed in connection with a recent highly cited paper had such implications. Health related implications were the most common, but other types of implications encountered were technological spin-offs, public understanding, economic and policy benefits. Surprisingly many scientists considered the advancement of science itself to be a social implication of their research. The relations of these implications to the field and topics of research are examined, and a mapping of implications gives an overview of the major dimensions of the social impacts of science.

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