[Sigmetrics] Identification of long-term concept-symbols among citations

Loet Leydesdorff loet at leydesdorff.net
Tue Jan 5 01:07:20 EST 2016

Identification of long-term concept-symbols among citations:
Can documents be clustered in terms of common intellectual histories?

Jordan A. Comins and Loet Leydesdorff


"Citation classics" are not only highly cited, but also cited during several
decades. We test whether the peaks in the spectrograms generated by
Reference Publication Years Spectroscopy (RPYS) indicate such long-term
impact by comparing across RPYS for subsequent time intervals. Multi-RPYS
enables us to distinguish between short-term citation peaks at the research
front that decay within ten years versus historically constitutive
(long-term) citations that function as concept symbols (Small, 1978). Using
these constitutive citations, one is able to cluster document sets (e.g.,
journals) in terms of intellectually shared histories. We test this premise
by clustering 40 journals in the Web of Science Category of Information and
Library Science using multi-RPYS. It follows that RPYS can not only be used
for retrieving roots of sets under study (cited), but also for algorithmic
historiography of the citing sets. Significant references are historically
rooted symbols among other citations that function as currency. 


Preprint available at http://arxiv.org/abs/1601.00288 

* Apologies for cross-postings



Loet Leydesdorff 

Professor, University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)

 <mailto:loet at leydesdorff.net> loet at leydesdorff.net ;
<http://www.leydesdorff.net/> http://www.leydesdorff.net/ 
Honorary Professor,  <http://www.sussex.ac.uk/spru/> SPRU, University of

Guest Professor  <http://www.zju.edu.cn/english/> Zhejiang Univ., Hangzhou;
Visiting Professor,  <http://www.istic.ac.cn/Eng/brief_en.html> ISTIC,

Visiting Professor,  <http://www.bbk.ac.uk/> Birkbeck, University of London;



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