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Citation delay in interdisciplinary knowledge exchange
Rinia EJ, van Leeuwen TN, Bruins EEW, van Vuren HG, van Raan AFJ
FOM, FOM, Leiden Univ
As part of a larger project to investigate knowledge flows between fields of science, we studied the differences in speed of knowledge transfer within and across disciplines. The age distribution of references in three selections of articles was analysed, including almost 800,000 references in journal publications of the United Kingdom in 1992, 700,000 references in publications of Germany in 1992, and more than 11 million references in the world total of publications in 1998. The rate of citing documented knowledge from other disciplines appears to differ sharply among disciplines. For most of the disciplines the same ratio's are found in the three data sets. Exceptions show interesting differences in the interdisciplinary nature of a field in a country. We find a general tendency of a citation delay in case of knowledge transfer between different fields of science: citations to work of the own discipline show less of a time lag than citations to work in a foreign discipline. Between disciplines typical differences in the speed of incorporating knowledge from other disciplines are observed, which appear to be relatively independent of time and place: for each discipline the same pattern is found in the three data sets. The discipline specific characteristics found in the speed of interdisciplinary knowledge transfer may be point of departure for further investigations. Results may contribute to explanations of differences in citation rates of interdisciplinary research.
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Dr. T.N. (Thed) van Leeuwen
Centre for Science and Technology Studies
Senior Researcher. MSc 1987 Political Sciences, University of Amsterdam, From February 1989 at CWTS. PhD Science Studies, 2004, Leiden. Coordinator for research performance projects. Currently involved in most bibliometric evaluations projects. Member of CWTS management team.
Prof. A.F.J. (Ton) van Raan
Ton (A.F.J.) van Raan is Professor of Quantitative Studies of Science and until September 1, 2010, Director of the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS), Leiden University, Netherlands. After his retirement as Director of CWTS, he remained research professor. He studied mathematics, ...