, Volume 72, Issue 3, pp 469–486 | Cite as

Self-citations, co-authorships and keywords: A new approach to scientists’ field mobility?

  • Iina Hellsten
  • Renaud Lambiotte
  • Andrea Scharnhorst
  • Marcel Ausloos
Open Access


This paper introduces a new approach to detecting scientists’ field mobility by focusing on an author’s self-citation network, and the co-authorships and keywords in self-citing articles. Contrary to much previous literature on self-citations, we will show that author’s self-citation patterns reveal important information on the development and emergence of new research topics over time. More specifically, we will discuss self-citations as a means to detect scientists’ field mobility. We introduce a network based definition of field mobility, using the Optimal Percolation Method (Lambiotte & Ausloos, 2005; 2006). The results of the study can be extended to selfcitation networks of groups of authors and, generally also for other types of networks.


Physical Review Citation Analysis Citation Network Scientific Collaboration Social Science Citation Index 
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

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iina Hellsten
    • 1
  • Renaud Lambiotte
    • 2
  • Andrea Scharnhorst
    • 1
  • Marcel Ausloos
    • 2
  1. 1.The Virtual Knowledge Studio for the Humanities and Social Sciences at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and SciencesVKS-KNAWAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.SUPRATECSUniversité de LiègeLiègeBelgium

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