, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 561–580 | Cite as

Beyond the holy grail: From citation theory to indicator theories

  • P. Wouters


A recurring theme in the use of science and technology indicators, as well as in the construction of new ones, is the interpretation of these indicators. Given the dependence on citation data in the majority of interesting science and technology indicators, a general citation theory would make the meaning of S&T indicators more transparent. Hence the continuing call for a citation theory in scientometrics. So far, such a theory has not yet been accepted by the experts in the field. This paper suggests an explanation for this. It also tries to sketch the outline of a generalindicator theory by discussing new implications of an earlier proposal (Wouters, 1998) in relation to existing citation and indicator theories.


Science Representation Science Policy Citation Analysis Bibliometric Indicator Citation Data 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Wouters
    • 1
  1. 1.Science and Technology DynamicsUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdam(The Netherlands)

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