, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 5–25 | Cite as

Theories of citation?

  • L. Leydesdorff
Disscusion Paper


Citations support the communication of specialist knowledge by allowing authors and readers to make specific selections in several contexts at the same time. In the interactions between the social network of (first-order) authors and the network of their reflexive (that is, second-order) communications, a sub-textual code of communication with a distributed character has emerged. The recursive operation of this dual-layered network induces the perception of a cognitive dimension in scientific communication.Citation analysis reflects on citation practices. Reference lists are aggregated in scientometric analysis using one (or sometimes two) of the available contexts to reduce the complexity: geometrical representations (‘mappings’) of dynamic operations are reflected in corresponding theories of citation. For example, a sociological interpretation of citations can be distinguished from an information-theoretical one. The specific contexts represented in the modern citation can be deconstructed from the perspective of the cultural evolution of scientific communication.


Science Policy Citation Analysis Knowledge Claim Citation Practice Scientometric Indicator 
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

© Akadémiai Kiadó 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Leydesdorff
    • 1
  1. 1.Science and Technology DynamicsAmsterdam(The Netherlands)

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