Categorization and trend of materials science research from Science Citation Index (SCI) database: A case study of ceramics, metallurgy, and polymer subfields
This article offers information on the characteristics and number of materials research articles indexed in the Science Citation Index (SCI) database in the year of 2004. 22,843 articles in full-text forms from 169 journals from the materials field (which included ceramics, metallurgy, and polymer journals) were retrieved from the SCI database and exported to EndNote software. The retrieved articles were carefully analyzed by eight scientists and experts in those subfields and categorized using SPSS into eight different categories, being (1) New materials, (2) Materials characterizations, (3) Materials improvement, (4) New process and/or process improvement, (5) Mathematical and theoretical models and/or computer simulations, (6) Novel and comprehensive explanations, (7) Testing conditions, and (8) Comparative studies, whose definitions were clearly indicated. The results were then considered in terms of the percentage of the number of articles in each materials subfield, country of corresponding author, and number of authors.
The overall results suggested that, most materials articles published in 2004 were focused on new process and process improvement (27%), while materials characterizations (23%) and testing conditions (12%) took the 2nd and 3rd places, especially for the ceramics and polymer articles. The highest numbers of articles in the ceramics and polymer subfields were focused on new processes and/or process improvement, and those for the metallurgy subfield were on materials characterization. In the SCI database, the largest number of materials articles was authored from Asian scientists although the majority of the materials journals were run by editors from Europe in North America/Canada continents. There was no coherent relationship between the authors’ and editors’ affiliations. China, Japan and the United States of America (USA) were shown to be the top three countries which had the highest publication numbers in the materials field. Japan had the highest publication numbers in the ceramics subfield while China possessed most publications in polymer and metallurgy subfields. However, when considering the journal impact factors, the leading positions of the countries changed. The results from this work could assist materials scientists to select suitable international journals in relevant association with the contents of their to-publish works. Finally, it was noted that most material research articles were written by 3–4 authorships.
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