Quantifying the internationality and multidisciplinarity of authors and journals using ecological statistics
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Authors or journals often claim internationality or multidisciplinarity based on assertion or qualitative evidence, while scientometric studies employ sophisticated analyses or software beyond the resources of occasional users to assess these concepts. This paper demonstrates how statistics used to describe ecological communities can be applied to bibliometric data to quantify internationality or multidisciplinarity for individuals and journals, enabling tests of statistical significance using graphical user interface freeware accessible to even occasional users. Margalef Richness, diversity and evenness or equitability can be calculated to indicate whether papers or citations come predominantly from a small group of countries or disciplines, or are more widely distributed. Tests of statistical significance for differences in Margalef richness, diversity or evenness between authors or journals enable testing of diverse hypotheses including, for example: differences in internationality or multidisciplinarity between authors or between journals; or changes over time in these variables for authors or journals (perhaps in response to career changes or changes in editorial policy). Quantifying internationality and multidisciplinarity in an accessible way for many potential users, with the possibility of statistical hypothesis testing, is a significant advance over assertion and qualitative description on the one hand or conceptually and practically complex analysis on the other.
KeywordsInternationality Multidisciplinarity Bibliometrics Citation studies Cited reference search Scopus Web of science
Mathematics Subject Classification62H30
We thank two anonymous reviewers for detailed, helpful critiques on earlier versions of the paper.
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