, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 27–37 | Cite as

Why has Latour's theory of citations been ignored by the bibliometric community? discussion of sociological interpretations of citation analysis

  • Terttu Luukkonen
STC and Scientometrics


The paper discusses the often lamented lack of a theory of citations, and the lack of a sociological theory in particular. It draws attention to one proposed theory and discusses the potential reasons why it has not been generally accepted as the theory of citations, despite its merits in explaining many phenomena in the citation behaviour of scientists. This theory has been expounded by Latour and presented, in particular, in his book entitledScience in Action.


Citation Analysis Citation Count Citation Behaviour Knowledge Claim Analytical Perspective 
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. 1.
    B. Latour,Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers Through Society, Open University Press, Milton Keynes, 1987.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    N. Kaplan, The norms of citation behaviour: Prolegomena to the Footnote,American Documentation, 16 (1965) 179–184.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    R. K. Merton, Foreword, in:E. Garfild Citation Indexing: Its Theory and Application in Science, Technology, and Humanities, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1979, vii-xi.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    E. Garfield,Citation Indexing: Its Theory and Application in Science, Technology, and Humanities, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1979.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    J. R. Cole, S. Cole,Social Stratification in Science, University of Chicago Press, London, 1973.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    F. Narin,Evaluative Bibliometrics: The Use of Publication and Citation Analysis in the Evaluation of Scientific Activity, Computer Horizons Inc., Cherry Hill, New Jersey, 1976.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    B. R. Martin, J. Irvine, Assessing basic research: Some partial indicators of scientific progress in radio astronomy,Research Policy, 12 (1983) 61–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    G. N. Gilbert, Referencing as persuasion,Social Studies of Science, 7 (1977) 113–122.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    M. H. Macroberts, B. R. Macroberts, Quantitative measures of communication in science: A study of the formal level.Social Studies of Science; 36 (1986) 223–229.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    M. H. Macroberts, B. R. Macroberts, Testing the Ortega Hypothesis: Facts and artifacts,Scientometrics, 12 (1987) 293–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Scientometrics, 12 (1987) Nos 5–6.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    H. Small, Citation context analysis, in:B. J. Dervin, M. J. Voigt (Eds),Progress in Communication Sciences, Ables, Norwood, NJ, 3 (1982) 287–310.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    B. Cronin,The Citation Process, Taylor Graham, London, 1984.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    M. Callon, J. Law, A. Rip, Qualitative scientometrics; in:M. Callon, J. Law, A. Rip (Eds),Mapping the Dynamics of Science and Technology, The Macmillan Press Ltd, Houndmills and London, 1986, 103–123.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    D. Edge, Quantitative measures of communication in science: A critical review,History of Science, 17 (1979) 102–134.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    S. Woolgar, Beyond the citation debate: Towards a sociology of measurement technologies and their use in science policy.Science and Public Policy, 18 (1991) 319–326.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    H. Zuckermann, Citation analysis and the complex problem of intellectual intluence,Scientometrics, 12 (1987) 329–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    S. E. Cozzens, What do citations count? The rhetorical-first model,Scientometrics, 15 (1989) 437–447.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    T. Luukkonen, Citations in the rhetorical, reward, and communication systems of science,Acta Universitatis Tamperensis, ser A, vol. 285, Tampere: University of Tampere 1990.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    L. Leydesdorff, O. Amsterdamska, Dimensions of citation analysis.Science, Technology, & Human Values, 15 (1990) No. 3, 305–335.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    H. Small, Cited documents as concept symbols,Social Studies of Science, 8 (1978) 327–340.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    D. De Solla Price,Little Science, Big Science … and Beyond, Columbia University Press, New York, 1986.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    L. Leydesdorff,The Challenge of Scientometrics: The Development, Measurement, and Self-Organisation of Scientific Communications, DSWO Press, Leiden, 1995.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    M. J. Mulkay, Some aspects of cultural growth in the natural sciences,Social Research, 36 (1969) 22–52.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    I. I. Mitroff,The Subjective Side of Science, Elsevier, New York, 1974.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    B. Latour, S. Woolgar,Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts, Princeton University Press, Oxford, 1986.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    T. S. Kuhn,The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1962.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    K. D. Knorr-Cetina, M. Mulkay, Introduction: Emerging principles in social studies of science, in:K. D. Knorr-Cetina, M. Mulkay (Eds),Science Observed, Perspectives on the Social Study of Science, Sage, London, 1983, p. 1–17.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    E. Garfield, Derek Price and the practical world of scientometrics,Science, Technology, & Human Values, 13 (1988) 349–350.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terttu Luukkonen
    • 1
  1. 1.VTT Group for Technology Studies(Finland)

Personalised recommendations