Indicators of Change in the Social Sciences? (preprint)

Loet Leydesdorff loet at LEYDESDORFF.NET
Wed Oct 24 16:04:45 EDT 2001


Can Networks of Journal-Journal Citations Be Used as Indicators of Change
in the Social Sciences? (preprint version)


Aggregated journal-journal citations can be used for mapping the
intellectual organization of the sciences in terms of specialties and
interreading communities. In addition to indicating local change,
probabilistic entropy measures enable us to analyze changes in
distributions at different levels of aggregation. The Journal Citation
Reports of the Social Science Citation Index for 1999 are compared with
similar data for 1998. The indicators are elaborated in relation to similar
developments in the Science Citation Index. Specialty formation seems a
more important mechanism in the development of the social sciences than in
the natural and life sciences, but the developments are volatile. The use
of aggregate statistics based on the Science Citation Index is ill-advised
in the case of the social sciences because of differences in the underlying

Commentaries are welcome.
With kind regards,


Loet Leydesdorff
Science & Technology Dynamics, University of Amsterdam

Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR),
Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX  Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Tel.: +31-20- 525 6598; Fax: +31-20- 525 3681
mailto:loet at ;

"A Sociological Theory of Communication:
The Self-Organization of the Knowledge-Based Society"

"The Challenge of Scientometrics: The development, measurement,
and self-organization of scientific communications"

More information about the SIGMETRICS mailing list