Measurement of scientific consensus by bibiometrics?

Morris, Steven (BA) Steven.Morris at BAKERHUGHES.COM
Wed Oct 25 09:06:54 EDT 2006

Hello folks,


I am wondering if anyone out there knows of any papers that discuss
bibliometric methods to measure 'consensus' of scientists on some
knowledge claim in a scientific specialty.   


Given the importance of the perception of scientific consensus on
political decisions, particularly on contentious "two opposing camps"
type issues such as global warming or stem-cell research, I am wondering
if there are any bibliometric studies that propose methods to
objectively measure such consensus.


I've seen Chaomei Chen's paper on 'opposing paradigms',  which dealt
with a controversy on mass dinosaur extinctions.  Chen's method uses
co-citation analysis and pathfinder maps to show growth and decline of
citation rates to key papers representing each 'camp' in the


I've also seen Oreskes' study in Science (link
<> ) which uses
a collection of abstracts downloaded from Web of Science to argue that
there is a consensus in the scientific community on the phenomena of
human-caused global warning.  This study received a lot of attention in
the press, and generated some backlash as well, but I'm not aware of any
critique of the paper by members of the bibliometrics community.


Can consensus be measured by bibliometrics?  If so, how to validate the
results of such studies?


If anyone can point me to articles that deal with the topic, I'd
appreciate it.




Steven Morris

Houston, Texas, USA



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