Information Research-an International Electronic Journal
Introduction. Specialization in science is a process that occurs over time. The present paper presents a bibliometric method for measuring the degree of specialization over time. Methods. The method is based on bibliographic coupling, and counts the percentage of recitations given in subsequent years. The method is applied to a selection of core journals in library and information science (1990-2012). The reference lists of each journal are compared year by year, and the percentage of re-citations is calculated by dividing the number of re-citations with the total number of citations each year. Results. The results indicate that the new measure adequately measures the intended phenomenon (i.e. specialization). Yet, the levels of re-citations and development over time may also partly be explained by the obsolescence phenomenon. A study of the median citation age and the level of specialization confirm a positive correlation. Yet, the low r-squared value (R2=0,2811) suggests only a partial explanation of the differences in levels of re-citation. Conclusion. The new method seems to offer a valid technique for measuring scientific specialization as a process. Yet, further studies are required to confirm the results.
Information Research, 2013, Vol 18, Issue 3
SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE OBSOLESCENCE COCITATION DOCUMENTS