SV: [SIGMETRICS] Measurement of scientific consensus by bibiometrics?

Jesper Wiborg Schneider JWS at DB.DK
Wed Oct 25 09:52:27 EDT 2006

Dear Steven;


The work initiated by Henry Small on concept symbols and citation context analysis goes in that direction. You may look at the twin papers by Braam, Moed and van Raan ffrom 1991 (JASIS) where they propose a "consensus score". You can also look in my thesis or forthcoming paper in scientometrics where I elaborate on the "consensus score" of knowledge claims in co-citation clusters.


Best regards - Jesper



Jesper Wiborg Schneider, PhD, Assistant Professor
Department of Information Studies Royal School of Library & Information Science
Sohngårdsholmsvej 2, DK-9000 Aalborg, DENMARK Tel. +45 98773041, Fax. +45 98151042

E-mail: jws at





Fra: ASIS&T Special Interest Group on Metrics [mailto:SIGMETRICS at LISTSERV.UTK.EDU] På vegne af Morris, Steven (BA)
Sendt: 25. oktober 2006 15:07
Emne: [SIGMETRICS] Measurement of scientific consensus by bibiometrics?


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 controversy.


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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