, Volume 107, Issue 2, pp 773–784 | Cite as

“Sleeping beauty” and her restless sleep: Charles Dotter and the birth of interventional radiology

  • Philippe Gorry
  • Pascal Ragouet


Charles Dotter has been described as the father of interventional radiology, a medical specialty born at the interface between radiology and cardiology. Before 1979, it was relatively difficult to find citations to a landmark paper that Dotter had first published in 1964—qualifying this study, from a scientometric perspective, as a sleeping beauty. Sleeping beauties are texts that suffer due to delayed recognition. The present paper explores the Dotter case study’s bibliometric characteristics while analyzing the Van Raan criteria’s usefulness for defining sleeping beauties in science. Citation network analysis using CitNetExplorer has proven helpful in identifying the “Prince” in this fairy tale. The duration of sleep is viewed here as a period of restlessness marked by science and social controversies that are often documented in publication databases using a wide range of bibliographic references. Hence the idea of introducing alongside this sleeping beauty construct the idea of “restless sleep”. These observations should open new avenues in identifying sleeping beauties while nurturing scientific controversy studies revolving around the use of scientometric approaches.


Sleeping beauty Co-referencing Network History of science Sociology of science Innovation 



This study is based on a previous work presented at 15th ISSI 2015 in Istanbul (Gorry and Ragouet 2015), and supported by France’s Institut National du Cancer as part of Project #6165 entitled “Interventional radiology in oncology: a multidisciplinary approach to medical innovation and its social recognition”. The authors would like to thank Emilie Bisbau for her assistance, and reviewers for providing insightful comments.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GREThA UMR CNRS 5113University of BordeauxPessacFrance
  2. 2.Centre E. Durkheim CNRS UMR 5116University of BordeauxBordeauxFrance

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