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Abstract  

The objective of this study is to use a clustering algorithm based on journal cross-citation to validate and to improve the journal-based subject classification schemes. The cognitive structure based on the clustering is visualized by the journal cross-citation network and three kinds of representative journals in each cluster among the communication network have been detected and analyzed. As an existing reference system the 15-field subject classification by Glänzel and Schubert (Scientometrics 56:55–73, <cite>2003</cite>) has been compared with the clustering structure.

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Scientometrics
Authors:
Antonio J. Gómez-Núñez
,
Benjamín Vargas-Quesada
,
Félix de Moya-Anegón
, and
Wolfgang Glänzel

. Glänzel , W , Schubert , A , Czerwon , HJ 1999 An item-by-item subject classification of papers published in multidisciplinary and general journals using reference analysis . Scientometrics 44 3 427 – 439 10.1007/BF02458488

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Scientometrics
Authors:
Isabel Gómez
,
Maria Bordons
,
M. Fernández
, and
Aida Méndez

Abstract  

The delimitation of a research field in bibliometric studies presents the problem of the diversity of subject classifications used in the sources of input and output data. Classification of documents according to thematic codes or keywords is the most accurate method, mainly used in specialised bibliographic or patent databases. Classification of journals in disciplines presents lower specificity, and some shortcomings as the change over time of both journals and disciplines and the increasing interdisciplinarity of research. Differences in the criteria in which input and output data classifications are based obliges to aggregate data in order to match them. Standardization of subject classifications emerges as an important point in bibliometric studies in order to allow international comparisons, although flexibility is needed to meet the needs of local studies.

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Abstract  

A serious shortcoming of bibliometric studies based on the(Social) Science (s) Citation Index is the lack of an universally applicable subject classification scheme as individual papers are concerned. Subject classification of papers on the basis of assigning journals to subject categories (like those found in the various supplements of ISI databases) works well in case of highly specialised journals, but fails for multidisciplinary journals such asNature, Science andPNAS—and so far as subfields are taken into consideration-also for “general” journals (e.g.JACS orAngewandte Chemie). This study presents the results of a pilot project attempting to overcome this shortcoming by delimiting the subject of papers published in multidisciplinary and general journals by an item-by-item subject classification scheme, where assignment is based on the analysis of the subject classification of reference literature. The results clearly confirmed the conclusions of earlier studies by the authors in the field of reference analysis. For the really important journals (sufficiently high number of annual publications and high impact with respect to the field), the share of classifiable papers was surprisingly high, and the assignment proved reliable as well. Since papers in the leading general and multidisciplinary journals are frequently citing general and multidisciplinary journals, an iterated application of the procedure is expected to increase the number of classifiable publications. The results of the new methodology may improve the validity of bibliometric studies for research evaluation purposes.

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Abstract  

A serious shortcoming of bibliometric studies based on theSocial Sciences Citation Index is the lack of a universally applicable subject classification scheme as individual papers are concerned. Moreover, the selective coverage of more than thousand scientific journals per annum proved to be an insuperable obstacle in the delimitation of social science subject areas. Subject classification of papers on the basis of assigning journals to subject categories (like those found in the various supplements of ISI databases) works well in case of fully covered and highly specialised journals in the social sciences, too, but fails for multidisciplinary and selectively covered journals. This study presents the results of an item-by-item subject classification approach, where assignment is based on the analysis of the subject categories of reference literature. This analysis extends the results of an earlier study by the authors on the possibility of delimiting subfields in the hard and life sciences based on reference analysis. The assignment proved also reliable for a considerable share of literature in the social sciences. Due to the peculiarities of the database this share is lower in the SSCI than that in the SCI. Although an iterated application of the procedure is expected to increase the number of classifiable publications, it is suggested that in the sociated sciences the method should be used in combination with other means of subject assignment.

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Summary In the present study full-text analysis and traditional bibliometric methods are combined to improve the efficiency of the individual methods in the mapping of science. The methodology is applied to map research papers from a special issue of Scientometrics. The outcomes substantiate that such hybrid methodology can be applied to both research evaluation and information retrieval. The subject classification given by the guest-editors of the special issue is used for validation purposes. Because of the limited number of papers underlying the study the paper is considered a pilot study that will be extended in a later study on the basis of a larger corpus.

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Abstract  

A common problem in comparative bibliometric studies at the meso and micro level is the differentiation and specialisation of research profiles of the objects of analysis at lower levels of aggregation. Already the institutional level requires the application of more sophisticated techniques than customary in evaluation of national research performance. In this study institutional profile clusters are used to examine which level of the hierarchical subject-classification should preferably be used to build subject-normalised citation indicators. It is shown that a set of properly normalised indicators can serve as a basis of comparative assessment within and even among different clusters, provided that their profiles still overlap and such comparison is thus meaningful. On the basis of 24 selected European universities, a new version of relational charts is presented for the comparative assessment of citation impact.

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Abstract  

This paper addresses two related issues regarding the validity of bibliometric indicators for the assessment of national performance within a particular scientific field. Firstly, the representativeness of a journal-based subject classification; and secondly, the completeness of the database coverage. Norwegian publishing in microbiology was chosen as a case, using the standard ISI-product National Science Indicators on Diskette (NSIOD) as a source database. By applying an "author-gated" retrieval procedure, we found that only 41 percent of all publications in NSIOD-indexed journals, expert-classified as microbiology, were included under the NSIOD-category Microbiology. Thus, the set of defining core journals only is clearly not sufficient to delineate this complex biomedical field. Furthermore, a subclassification of the articles into different subdisciplines of microbiology revealed systematic differences with respect to representation in NSIOD's Microbiology field; fish microbiology and medical microbiology are particularly underrepresented.In a second step, the individual publication lists from a sample of Norwegian microbiologists were collected and compared with the publications by the same authors, retrieved bibliometrically. The results showed that a large majority (94%) of the international scientific production in Norwegian microbiology was covered by the database NSIOD. Thus, insufficient subfield delineation, and not lack of coverage, appeared to be the main methodological problem in the bibliometric analysis of microbiology.

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Abstract  

This paper describes a new and objective method for tackling the problem of defining a multidisciplinary research area for bibliometric analysis. The test field was cardiovascular biology. A three stage process was adopted in setting a boundary around this research field: 1.  Appropriate sections of a hierarchical subject classification scheme, Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), were developed into a MeSH filter through which papers indexed in MEDLINE were screened. 2.  A panel of cardiovascular experts reviewed the core set of classification terms, identifying irrelevant and missing areas, facilitating the development of a more sophisticated filter. 3.  The definition was validated using publication lists from research departments with a known interest in cardiovascular research. This iterative process resulted in a definition of the field which captured basic and clinical research papers from the international biomedical research community and which was recognisable to experts in the field of cardiovascular research. Importantly, the field boundary also excluded publications which were not relevant to cardiovascular research. The process of involving experts in shaping the field definition also yielded two intangible, but key benefits: (a) it lent credibility to subsequent analyses, the results of which were to be presented to policy-makers in cardiovascular biology, and (b) it served to shape consensus among the cardiovascular experts on the full range of scientific disciplines that are relevant to their field.Analysis of international publishing in cardiovascular research revealed that whilst the UK and US dominate in total numbers of papers, the relative emphasis on cardiovascular research in these countries (as a proportion ofall biomedical publishing) is actually quite low, and declining. Japan and Germany in contrast appear to give greater emphasis to cardiovascular research in their national portfolios of biomedical science, and between 1988–1991 Japan established a marked increase in activity.

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. 10 Pinski, G.: Subject Classification and Influence Weight of 2300 Journals. Computer Horizons, Inc., Cherry Hill, 1975. 11 Noma, E.: Subject Classification

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