, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 135-156

The delineation of specialties in terms of journals using the dynamic journal set of the SCI

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Abstract

In order to attribute journals to specialties in a dynamic journal set by using aggregated journal-journal citations derived from theScience Citation Index, it is necessary to complement the multi-variate analysis of this data with a time-serices perspective. This calls for a more analytical approach to the problem of choice among the many possible parameters for clustering. Changes in the disciplinary structure of science are tracked by using thedifferences among the multi-variate analyses for the various years. It is impossible to attribute change systematically to structure, noise, or deviance if these uncertainties are not clearly definedex ante. The study discusses the various choices which have to be made, in both conceptual and methodological terms. In addition to hierarchies among journals, one has to assume heterarchy among journal groups (and their centroids). For comprehensive mapping, a concept of “macro-journals” as representations of a density of points in the multi-dimensinoal space is defined. Empirical reslts indicate the feasibility of dynamic journal-journal mapping by using these methods.