With a view toward a system of science indicators which is flexible, appropriate, and unambiguous, a brief discussion is given of the theory of classification. This is then applied to three situations arising in input indicators for science, and it is shown how the presently used formalism for such indicators could be improved and thus eliminate unnecessary disputes in the practical application of such indicators.
Using the data recently presented byLea Velho on the citation rates in and on Brazilian agricultural journal articles, it is suggested that a given such paper is cited by the non-Brazilian scientific literature at the same rate as a paper written anywhere else in the world would be, and that is cited by other Brazilian papers very much more than a paper elsewhere would be. These conclusions are surprizing in view of the prevailing conventional wisdom, and are also exactly opposite to the conclusionsVelho herself derived from the same data.
The methodology of the science of science is claimed to be plagued by one-dimensional thinking, and it is urged that a multi-dimensional view be adopted instead. In a one-dimensional model cause is a meaningful word, superlatives can be used, dichotomous thinking is realistic, with a resultant zero-sum mentality, and the make a hypothesis-find a correlation method makes sense. In the multidimensional framework these four characteristics are unsuitable, and instead a quite different set of questions arise as appropriate. This is illustrated on five examples taken from among currently interesting questions in the science of science. Following some remarks about simplicity and about the role and limitations of multiple regression analyses, it is concluded that, among other things, more purely phenomenological studies are needed to make progress in the science of science.
A United Nations sponsored project is described to formulate a practicable method for assessing the impact of science and technology in the developing countries and to propose further research to improve the development of such indicators. After a discussion of the importance of the project, the aims of science and technology are summarized, followed by the elements that need to be considered in such an assessment procedure, and the structure of the relationships among these elements. The first step in the assessment process is to make a map of the part of the system to be assessed. The types of indicators that can be used are then listed, and it is suggested that the status of these indicators is weak, especially with respect to their applicability to developing countries. It is proposed that a small number of specific pilot projects be undertaken to test the general ideas contained in the discussion and to experiment with novel kinds of indicators.
The method of classifying citations according to the context in the citing paper, previously developed by the authors, is applied to the study of scientific revolutions. In particular, the BCS theory of superconductivity ind the non-conservation of parity are investigated. The results can be easily interpreted in terms of the characteristic features of these discoveries. It is suggested that these two examples represent two different types of paradigm changes, thus prompting a considerable refinement of the usual dichotomous picture of normal