Scientometrics

, Volume 98, Issue 3, pp 1855–1864 | Cite as

Growth in the number of references in engineering journal papers during the 1972–2013 period

  • Iñaki Ucar
  • Felipe López-Fernandino
  • Pablo Rodriguez-Ulibarri
  • Laura Sesma-Sanchez
  • Veronica Urrea-Micó
  • Joaquín Sevilla
Article

Abstract

The number of references per paper, perhaps the best single index of a journal’s scholarliness, has been studied in different disciplines and periods. In this paper we present a four decade study of eight engineering journals. A data set of over 70,000 references was generated after automatic data gathering and manual inspection for errors. Results show a significant increase in the number of references per paper, the average rises from 8 in 1972 to 25 in 2013. This growth presents an acceleration around the year 2000, consistent with a much easier access to search engines and documents produced by the generalization of the Internet.

Keywords

Number of references Citation density Engineering Citing behaviour Reference analysis 

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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iñaki Ucar
    • 1
  • Felipe López-Fernandino
    • 2
  • Pablo Rodriguez-Ulibarri
    • 2
  • Laura Sesma-Sanchez
    • 2
  • Veronica Urrea-Micó
    • 2
  • Joaquín Sevilla
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Automatics and Computer SciencePublic University of NavarrePamplonaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Electrical and Electronic EngineeringPublic University of NavarrePamplonaSpain

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