CFP workshop on Methodological Issues in Using Curricula Vitae

Loet Leydesdorff loet at LEYDESDORFF.NET
Thu Mar 8 02:39:59 EST 2007

Contrary to your findings, in Boyack, Klavans & Börner (2005). Mapping the
backbone of science. Scientometrics, 64(3), 351-374 we found that the ISI
categories corresponded quite closely with journal clusterings based on
intercitation in many cases (better than half of the clusters), but not so
well in the remainder. In other words, it's a mixed bag. Further, if one
looks at pairs of highly related journals, for instance the top 10 related
journals for each journal, they occur in the same ISI category roughly 90%
of the time over the entire SCIE/SSCI (Klavans & Boyack (2006). Identifying
a better measure of relatedness for mapping science. JASIST, 57(2),
251-263). The pairwise accuracy does vary by journal, so there is still much
room for improvement.

Dear Kevin, 
"Better than half of the clusters" is not good enough for an analytical
approach. Specifically because we don't know which half. My guess would also
be "half of the clusters". Furthermore, I agree that the tops of the iceberg
are well identified. It is not so difficult to classify a journal with the
name of Allergy to the category Allergy. This class has 16 journals. If I
analyze the citation environments of this journal (both cited and citing),
the correspondence is high. 

The situation changes dramatically when we turn to larger clusters and to
journals which can less unambiguously be classified. Let me take the liberty
to reproduce figure 12 from my paper in JASIST (57(5), 601-613, 2006) for
the case of the biochemistry & molecular biology set of 261 journals in

The problems is not only pragmatically, but analytically. The sets are fuzzy
and deeply interwoven in the tales of the distributions. (The cores are not
the problem.) Any classification will have to be reflexive about this, for
example, by indicating the error. In the case of the ISI classifications,
you found approximately 50% error. :-) I don't mind that you wish to use
them; I do so, too, when it is convenient. 
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 
 <mailto:loet at> loet at ;

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