Reference per year increase with time question.

J. Hartley j.hartley at PSY.KEELE.AC.UK
Tue Nov 23 03:46:19 EST 2004


See Adair, J.G. & Vohra, N. (2003).  The explosion of knowledge, references,
and citations: Psychology's unique response to a crisis.  American
Psychologist, 58, 1, 15-23.

They argue that the expansion of references is disproportionate in
Psychology and is not mirrored in other diciplines like physics and biology.

They are probably wrong!  But contrasting overall disiplines with
specialities might be of interest.

Jim Hartley

----- Original Message -----
From: "Steven A. Morris" <samorri at OKSTATE.EDU>
Sent: 23 November 2004 05:42
Subject: [SIGMETRICS] Reference per year increase with time question.

> I have noticed that in a lot of specialties, the average number of
> references listed per paper increases over time.  In a collection of
> I have on anthtrax research, for example, the mean number of references
> paper is 12 during the 1940's through the 1970's and increases to about 30
> references per paper for the 1980's to the present.
> Has anyone studied this effect? Does it mean that authors cite a wider
> of knowledge as the specialty evolves?  Or is it just that social
> conventions of citing are changing? Or maybe it's an artifact of trends in
> the Science Citation Index journal coverage over time?
> Can anyone point me to any papers that discuss this effect?
> Thanks,
> Steven Morris
> Oklahoma State University

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