- An indicator of research front activity: Measuring intellectual organization as uncertainty reduction in document sets
- Journal of the American Society for information Science and Technology
- Volume | Issue number
- 60 | 12
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
When using scientific literature to model scholarly discourse, a research specialty can be operationalized as an evolving set of related documents. Each publication can be expected to contribute to the further development of the specialty at the research front. The specific combinations of title words and cited references in a paper can then be considered as a signature of the knowledge claim in the paper: New words and combinations of words can be expected to represent variation, while each paper is at the same time selectively positioned into the intellectual organization of a field using context-relevant references. Can the mutual information among these three dimensions—title words, cited references, and sequence numbers—be used as an indicator of the extent to which intellectual organization structures the uncertainty prevailing at a research front? The effect of the discovery of nanotubes (1991) on the previously existing field of fullerenes is used as a test case. Thereafter, this method is applied to science studies with a focus on scientometrics using various sample delineations. An emerging research front about citation analysis can be indicated.
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