Two decades of "Scientometrics". An interdisciplinary field represented by its leading journal
The development of the field of bibliometric and scientometric research is analysed byquantitative methods to answer the following questions: (1) Is bibliometrics evolving from a softscience field towards rather hard (social) sciences (Schubert-Maczelka hypothesis)? (2) Canbibliometrics be characterised as a social science field with stable characteristics(Wouters-Leydesdorff hypothesis)? (3) Is bibliometrics a heterogeneous field, the sub-disciplinesof which have their own characteristics? Are these sub-disciplines more and more consolidating,and are predominant sub-disciplines impressing their own characteristics upon the whole field(Glänzel-Schoepflin hypothesis)? The Price Index per paper, the percentage of references toserials, the mean references age, and the mean reference rate are calculated based on all articlesand their respective references in Scientometrics in 1980, 1989, and 1997. The articles areclassified in six categories. The findings suggest, that the field is in fact heterogeneous, and eachsub-discipline has its own characteristics. While the contribution of these sub-disciplines inScientometrics was still well-balanced in 1980, papers dealing with case studies and methodologybecame dominant by 1997.
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