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Indicators of the interdisciplinarity of journals: Diversity, centrality, and citations

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  • Leydesdorff, Loet
  • Rafols, Ismael

Abstract

A citation-based indicator for interdisciplinarity has been missing hitherto among the set of available journal indicators. In this study, we investigate network indicators (betweenness centrality), unevenness indicators (Shannon entropy, the Gini coefficient), and more recently proposed Rao–Stirling measures for “interdisciplinarity.” The latter index combines the statistics of both citation distributions of journals (vector-based) and distances in citation networks among journals (matrix-based). The effects of various normalizations are specified and measured using the matrix of 8207 journals contained in the Journal Citation Reports of the (Social) Science Citation Index 2008. Betweenness centrality in symmetrical (1-mode) cosine-normalized networks provides an indicator outperforming betweenness in the asymmetrical (2-mode) citation network. Among the vector-based indicators, Shannon entropy performs better than the Gini coefficient, but is sensitive to size. Science and Nature, for example, are indicated at the top of the list. The new diversity measure provides reasonable results when (1−cosine) is assumed as a measure for the distance, but results using Euclidean distances were difficult to interpret.

Suggested Citation

  • Leydesdorff, Loet & Rafols, Ismael, 2011. "Indicators of the interdisciplinarity of journals: Diversity, centrality, and citations," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 87-100.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:infome:v:5:y:2011:i:1:p:87-100
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joi.2010.09.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Zitt, Michel, 2010. "Citing-side normalization of journal impact: A robust variant of the Audience Factor," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 392-406.
    2. Moed, Henk F., 2010. "Measuring contextual citation impact of scientific journals," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 265-277.
    3. Alan L Porter & J David Roessner & Alex S Cohen & Marty Perreault, 2006. "Interdisciplinary research: meaning, metrics and nurture," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 187-195, December.
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    5. J. Kruskal, 1964. "Nonmetric multidimensional scaling: A numerical method," Psychometrika, Springer;The Psychometric Society, vol. 29(2), pages 115-129, June.
    6. Ismael Rafols & Alan L. Porter & Loet Leydesdorff, 2010. "Science overlay maps: A new tool for research policy and library management," Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 61(9), pages 1871-1887, September.
    7. Grit Laudel & Gloria Origgi, 2006. "Introduction to a special issue on the assessment of interdisciplinary research," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 2-4, April.
    8. Andy Stirling, 2007. "A General Framework for Analysing Diversity in Science, Technology and Society," SPRU Working Paper Series 156, SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School.
    9. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
    10. Zitt, M. & Barre, R. & Sigogneau, A. & Laville, F., 1999. "Territorial concentration and evolution of science and technology activities in the European Union: a descriptive analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 545-562, June.
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