ABS:Katz, Self-similar science system

Gretchen Whitney gwhitney at UTKUX.UTCC.UTK.EDU
Thu Jul 15 18:33:15 EDT 1999

Author(s):  Katz JS
Title:  The self-similar science system
Source:  RESEARCH POLICY 1999, Vol 28, Iss 5, pp 501-517
Addresses:  Katz JS, Univ Sussex, Brighton BN1 9RF, E Sussex, England.
Univ Sussex, Brighton BN1 9RF, E Sussex, England.

Author Keywords:  self-similar; power law; scale-independent KeywordsPlus:

Abstract:  A system with a self-similar property is scale-independent and
statistically exhibits that property at all levels of observation. In
addition, a power law describes the distribution of a scale-independent
property. Many investigators have observed social activities and
structures, particularly in the science system, that are best described by
a power-law distribution. However, unlike classical physical power laws
that are used in the design of complex technical systems, social power
laws are not used to develop social policy. Using the science system as a
model social system and peer-reviewed publications and citations to these
papers as the data source we will demonstrate the existence of two power
law distributions that are then used to predict the existence of two
additional power laws. In fact, it will be shown that in four UK sectoral,
six OECD national, a regional and the world science systems the Matthew
effect can be described by a power-law relationship between publishing
size (papers) and recognition (citations). The exponent of this power law
is 1.27 +/- 0.03, it is constant over time and relatively independent of
system size and nationality. The policy implications of these robust
self-similar social properties as well as the need to develop
scale-independent policy are discussed.

(C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. Source item
page count:  17 Publication Date:  JUN IDS No.:  209HJ 29-char source
abbrev:  RES POLICY

c. ISI, Reprinted with permission.
Please visit their website at http://www.isinet.com

Gretchen Whitney, PhD                                     tel 423.974.7919
School of Information Sciences                            fax 423.974.4967
University of Tennessee, Knoxville TN 37996 USA           gwhitney at utk.edu

More information about the SIGMETRICS mailing list