the disciplinary classification of scientific journals -- preprint version

Loet Leydesdorff loet at LEYDESDORFF.NET
Thu Mar 17 02:19:47 EST 2005

Can Scientific Journals be  <>
Classified in terms of Aggregated Journal-Journal Citation Relations using
the Journal Citation Reports? 

 Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology

 <> <pdf-version>


The aggregated citation relations among journals included in the Science
Citation Index provide us with a huge matrix which can be analyzed in
various ways. Using principal component analysis or factor analysis, the
factor scores can be used as indicators of the position of the cited
journals in the citing dimensions of the database. Unrotated factor scores
are exact, and the extraction of principal components can be made stepwise
since the principal components are independent. Rotation may be needed for
the designation, but in the rotated solution a model is assumed. This
assumption can be legitimated on pragmatic or theoretical grounds. Since the
resulting outcomes remain sensitive to the assumptions in the model, an
unambiguous classification is no longer possible in this case. However, the
factor-analytic solutions allow us to test classifications against the
structures contained in the database. This will be demonstrated for the
delineation of a set of biochemistry journals.


** apologies for cross-postings


Loet Leydesdorff
Université de Lausanne, School of Economics (HEC); 
Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCor)
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