In this study, the historical roots of tribology (a sub-field of mechanical engineering and materials science) are investigated using a newly developed scientometric method called “Reference Publication Year Spectroscopy (RPYS)”. The study is based on cited references (n = 577,472) in tribology research publications (n = 24,086). The Science Citation Index-Expanded (SCI-E) is used as data source. The results show that RPYS has the potential to identify the important publications: Most of the publications which have been identified in this study as highly cited (referenced) publications are landmark publications in the field of tribology.
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Elango, B., Bornmann, L. & Kannan, G. Detecting the historical roots of tribology research: a bibliometric analysis. Scientometrics 107, 305–313 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-016-1877-6