Testing the Strength of the Normative Approach in Citation Theory Through Relational Bibliometrics: The Case of Italian Sociology
2015 (English)In: Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, ISSN 2330-1635, E-ISSN 2330-1643, Vol. 66, no 6, 1178-1188 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In scientometrics, citer behavior is traditionally investigated using one of two main approaches. According to the normative point of view, the behavior of scientists is regulated by norms that make the detection of citation patterns useful for the interpretation of bibliometric measures. According to the constructivist perspective, citer behavior is influenced by other factors linked to the social and/or psychological sphere that do not allow any statistical inferences that are useful for the purposes of interpretation. An intermediate position supports normative theories in describing citer behavior with respect to high citation frequencies and constructivist theories with respect to low citation counts. In this paper, this idea was tested in a case study of the Italian sociology community. Italian sociology is characterized by an unusual organization into three political or ideological camps, and belonging to one camp can be considered a potentially strong constructivist reason to cite. An all-author co-citation analysis was performed to map the structure of the Italian sociology community and look for evidence of three camps. We did not expect to find evidence of this configuration in the co-citation map. The map, in fact, included authors who obtained high citation counts that are supposedly produced by a normative-oriented behavior. The results confirmed this hypothesis and showed that the clusters seemed to be divided according to topic and not by camp. Relevant scientific works were cited by the members of the entire community regardless of their membership in any particular camp.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 66, no 6, 1178-1188 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-104372DOI: 10.1002/asi.23248ISI: 000354476600007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-104372DiVA: diva2:839848