Philosophy of science viewed through the lense of “Referenced Publication Years Spectroscopy” (RPYS)
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- Wray, K.B. & Bornmann, L. Scientometrics (2015) 102: 1987. doi:10.1007/s11192-014-1465-6
We examine the sub-field of philosophy of science using a new method developed in information science, Referenced Publication Years Spectroscopy (RPYS). RPYS allows us to identify peak years in citations in a field, which promises to help scholars identify the key contributions to a field, and revolutionary discoveries in a field. We discovered that philosophy of science, a sub-field in the humanities, differs significantly from other fields examined with this method. Books play a more important role in philosophy of science than in the sciences. Further, Einstein’s famous 1905 papers created a citation peak in the philosophy of science literature. But rather than being a contribution to the philosophy of science, their importance lies in the fact that they are revolutionary contributions to physics with important implications for philosophy of science.