Betweenness centrality as an Indictor of the "Interdisciplinarity" of Scientific Journals

Loet Leydesdorff loet at LEYDESDORFF.NET
Thu Aug 24 07:38:32 EDT 2006

 <> "Betweenness Centrality"
as an Indicator of the "Interdisciplinarity" of Scientific Journals

Paper to be presented at the 9th International Conference on Science &
Technology Indicators, Leuven, Belgium, 7-9 September 2006 


In addition to science citation indicators of journals like impact and
immediacy, social network analysis provides a set of centrality measures
like degree, betweenness, and closeness centrality. These measures are first
analyzed for the entire set of 7,379 journals included in the Journal
Citation Reports of the Science Citation Index and the Social Science
Citation Index 2004, and then also in relation to local citation
environments which can be considered as proxies of specialties and
disciplines. Betweenness centrality is shown to be an indicator of the
interdisciplinarity of journals, but only in local citation environments and
after normalization because otherwise the influence of degree centrality
overshadows the betweenness-centrality measure. The indicator is applied to
a variety of citation environments, including policy-relevant ones like
biotechnology and nanotechnology. The values of the indicator remain
sensitive to the delineations of the set because of the indicator's local
character. Maps showing interdisciplinarity of journals in terms of
betweenness centrality can be drawn using information about journal citation
environments which is available online.

 <> <pdf-version>

*** apologies for cross-postings

Loet Leydesdorff 
Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR)
Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX Amsterdam
Tel.: +31-20- 525 6598; fax: +31-20- 525 3681 
 <mailto:loet at> loet at ;

 <> The Knowledge-Based Economy: Modeled,
Measured, Simulated
The Self-Organization of the Knowledge-Based Society;
The Challenge of Scientometrics

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