, Volume 95, Issue 1, pp 385-415
Date: 10 Nov 2012

Citation choice and innovation in science studies

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


What are the factors which render an article more likely to be cited? Using social network analysis of citations between published scholarly works, the nascent field around Social Studies of Science is examined from its incipience in 1971 until 2008. To gauge intellectual positioning, closeness centrality and orthodoxy rates are derived from bibliographic networks. Bibliographic orthodoxy is defined as the propensity of an article to cite other highly popular works. Orthodoxy and closeness centrality have differing effects on citation rates, varying across historical periods of development in the field. Effects were modest, but significant. In early time periods, articles with higher orthodoxy rates were cited more, but this effect dissipated over time. In contrast, citations associated with closeness centrality increased over time. Early SSS citation networks were smaller, less structurally cohesive and less modular than later networks. In contrast, later networks were larger, more structurally cohesive, more modular and less dense. These changes to the global SSS knowledge networks are linked to changes in the scientific reward structure ensconced in the network, particularly regarding orthodoxy and closeness centrality.