New Papers

Smalheiser, Neil Nsmalheiser at PSYCH.UIC.EDU
Sun Oct 17 12:58:47 EDT 2010

As I read the "Ortega hypothesis" paper, I see a glaring issue. 

The authors do say "It is not yet clear (especially for the social sciences) whether citation impact is a good approximation of actual research impact and of the role of research in scientific
advancements."  Yet their confident interpretations and conclusions rest entirely on that assumption.

Here is an alternative interpretation: Certain fields are "hot" and have a lot of people working in them very actively, at least for a while. The papers that deal with "hot topics" will garner a lot of interest and citations, and will cite each other. Even middling papers with good timing will be cited a lot. And this is without asking whether "hot topics" really have more long-term impact than other areas when viewed (say) 20 or 50 years later. 

Do we believe that the best work will deal with "hot topics"?  At the very least, analyses of impact should not simply deal with entire disciplines, but should take into account the community structure of the field that cites the index paper. (My apologies if that has been dealt with by the authors in other venues.)

Neil Smalheiser

From: ASIS&T Special Interest Group on Metrics [SIGMETRICS at LISTSERV.UTK.EDU] On Behalf Of Bornmann, Lutz [Lutz.Bornmann at GV.MPG.DE]
Sent: Saturday, October 16, 2010 1:41 PM
Subject: [SIGMETRICS] New Papers

Dear colleague:

You might be interested in two new papers. Recently, Nature News reported on
the first one

1) Bornmann, L. de Moya Anegón, F., & Leydesdorff, L. (2010). Do scientific
advancements lean on the shoulders of giants? A bibliometric investigation of
the Ortega hypothesis. PLoS ONE, 5(10), e13327:

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