Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics

, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 609–620 | Cite as

Credit for discoveries: Citation data as a Basis for History of Science Analysis

  • B.I.B. Lindahl
  • Aant Elzinga
  • Alfred Welljams-Dorof
Article

Abstract

Citation data have become an increasingly significant source of information for historians, sociologists, and other researchers studying the evolution of science. In the past few decades elaborate methodologies have been developed for the use of citation data in the study of the modern history of science. This article focuses on how citation indexes make it possible to trace the background and development of discoveries as well as to assess the credit that publishing scientists assign to particular discoverers. Kuhn's notion of discovery is discussed. The priority dispute over the discovery of the AIDS virus is used as an example.

AIDS citation analysis history of science scientific discovery Nobel Prize 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • B.I.B. Lindahl
    • 1
  • Aant Elzinga
    • 1
  • Alfred Welljams-Dorof
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  2. 2.PhiladelphiaUSA

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