, Volume 72, Issue 2, pp 213–224 | Cite as

Transient and continuant authors in a research field: The case of terrorism

  • Avishag GordonEmail author


The issue of research continuance in a scientific discipline was analyzed and applied to the field of terrorism. The growing amount of literature in this field is produced mostly by one-timers who “visit” the field, contribute one or two articles, and then move to another subject area. This research pattern does not contribute to the regularity and constancy of publication by which a scientific discipline is formed and theories and paradigms of the field are created.

This study observed the research continuance and transience of scientific publications in terrorism by using obtainable “most prolific terrorism authors” lists at different points in time. These lists designed by several terrorism researchers, presented a few researchers who contributed to the field continuously and many others whose main research interest lay in another discipline. The four lists observed included authors who were continuants, transients, new-comers, and terminators (who left the field).

The lack of continuous, full-time research in a research field is typical of many disciplines, but the influence of this research pattern on a field’s growth and stability is different for older, established disciplines than for new and formative fields of study. With in the former, intellectual mobility could contribute to the rise of new topics and probably enrich the particular scientific field; with the latter, by contrast, it could hamper the formation and growth of the field.


Science Citation Index Continuance Index Terrorism Journal Research Pattern Science Citation Index Database 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Braun, T., Glänzel, W., Schubert, A. (2001), Publication and cooperation patterns of the authors of the neuroscience journals, Scientometrics, 51(3) 499–510.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Diodato, V. (1994), Dictionary of Bibliometrics, New York: The Haworth Press Inc.Google Scholar
  3. Garfield, E. (1980), The epistemology of knowledge and the spread of scientific information, Essays of an Information Scientist, 4: 586–591.Google Scholar
  4. Garvey, W. D. (1979), Communication: The Essence of Science, New York, Oxford: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  5. Gordon, A. (2004), The Status of Terrorism in the Academy: Comparative Aspects and the Role of Periodicals, Unpublished PhD Dissertation, University of Haifa.Google Scholar
  6. Hawkins, D. T. (1978), The literature on noble gas compounds, Journal of Chemical Information and Computation Science, 18: 190–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Meadows, A. J. (1998), Communicating Research, San Diego, London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  8. Mullins, N. (1973), The development of specialties in the Social Sciences, Science Studies 3: 245–273.Google Scholar
  9. Price, D. S. D., Gursey, S. (1976), Studies in scientometrics, Part I: Transience and continuance in scientific authorship, International Forum for Information and Documentation, 1(2): 17–24.Google Scholar
  10. Reid, E., Hsinchun, C. (2005), Mapping the contemporary terrorism research domain, researchers, publications and institutions, analysis, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 3495: 322–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Schmid, A., Jongman, A. J. (1988), Political Terrorism, A New Guide For Actors, Authors, Concepts, Databases, Theories and Literature, SWIDOC, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  12. Science Citation Index (SCI (2006), Philadelphia: ISI.Google Scholar
  13. Silke, A. (2004), The devil you know: Continuing problems with research on terrorism, In: A. Silke (Ed.), Research on Terrorism, Trends, Achievements and Failures, London: Frank Cass, pp. 57–71.Google Scholar
  14. Silke, A. (2004), The road less travelled: Recent trends in terrorism research, In: A. Silke (Ed.), Research on Terrorism, Trends, Achievements and Failures, London: Frank Cass, pp. 186–213.Google Scholar
  15. Wagner, C. S., Leydesdorff, L. (2005), Network structure, self-organization and the growth of international collaboration in science, Research Policy, 34(10): 1608–1618.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information and Library StudiesUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Computer Science Library, TechnionIsrael Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael

Personalised recommendations