Johan Bollen, Marko A. Rodriguez, and Herbert Van de Sompel "Journal Status" arXiv:cs.GL/0601030 v1 9 Jan 2006

Loet Leydesdorff loet at LEYDESDORFF.NET
Wed Mar 8 01:39:08 EST 2006

Dear David,

The problem is that there are different hierarchies intermingled because of
the differentiation in the cognitive dimension. Some hierarchies may stand
orthogonal on others. Thus, the problem is not with _Science_ and _Nature_
at the top, but in the intermediate ranges. There is no single hierarchy
because there are two effects interacting: status in the stratification and
density in the relevant environment (graph or cluster). Sometimes, there is
almost empty space between the clusters and the cluster structures are

With best wishes,


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

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ASIS&T Special Interest Group on Metrics
> [mailto:SIGMETRICS at LISTSERV.UTK.EDU] On Behalf Of David Goodman
> Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 5:37 AM
> Subject: Re: [SIGMETRICS] Johan Bollen, Marko A. Rodriguez,
> and Herbert Van de Sompel "Journal Status"
> arXiv:cs.GL/0601030 v1 9 Jan 2006
> Adminstrative info for SIGMETRICS (for example unsubscribe):
> Still on-list, there are several   reasons for classifying
> journals.  It can be for the practical purposes of arranging
> a library, or organizing information, and of interest mainly
> to those who do these things and wish to do it intelligently,
> or verify their intuition. This is quite a number of people,
> including A&I services.
> As a minimum,practical applications justify the more theoretical work.
> Clustering as a study in itself is interesting when it finds
> unexpected clusters, or those known only to specialists--such
> as the biopharmacology-plant science connection, or to help
> refine categories for specific uses, such as dividing
> up the BCMB   subject heading.  It rarely gives suprises that
> alert practical people do not already know.
> Clustering is  part of a bibliometric analysis, which has
> many subsequent directions. A related subject is the history
> of publishing and of journals, where bibliometrics is one of
> the methods of analysis.
> But most of what I think we are discussing is clustering for
> the purpose of ranking journals; its obviously a necessary
> preliminary.  where it is the first step (usually w do not
> want to rank all the journals in the world, as the early  BLL
> studies did.)
> Why is this of practical interest? Obviously, to clarify what
> journals are of value, and should therefore be acquired. I am
> not sure of the relevance of global analysis here, because
> one is usually acquiring journals for some specific
> institution. In such cases the global data is of use mainly
> in providing a background to compare with the local measures,
> and to spot idiosncratic needs.
> This is not merely an exercise in statistics, and citation
> analysis is but one of the measures. In practice, global
> citation analysis has been often used, being the only
> objective measure at hand, except for price and size. As
> other measures develop, we need  valid ways of incorporating
> them. So far, for scholarly journals in many subjects, none
> have been shown more useful than IF alone, employed intelligently.
> We might be talking about journals so high ranking that they
> ought to be acquired whether there is an immediate need or
> not? This used to be necessary to accommodate future
> diversification when financially possible, but with
> e-journals is irrelevant, because the complete runs can be
> obtained when they become necessary.
> Why do we care about what journals to acquire? Why shouldn't
> we simply obtain access to them all?  The main reason is
> because this is not yet practical, and we do have to provide
> for the current pre-OA environoment. (It can also be argued
> that a selected list is of use to beginners--but that is
> another discussion and possibly another
> audience.)
>  Dr. David Goodman
> Associate Professor
> Palmer School of Library and Information Science Long Island
> University and formerly Princeton University Library
> dgoodman at
> dgoodman at
> [I omit the sequence we have all read previously]

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