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Uncited papers, uncited authors and uncited topics: A case study in library and information science

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  • Liang, Liming
  • Zhong, Zhen
  • Rousseau, Ronald

Abstract

In this article we study three types of uncitedness in Library and Information Science journals: uncitedness for articles, authors and topics. One important aspect in this study is giving accurate definitions of the indicators for measuring uncited papers, uncited authors and uncited topics. It is found that for the period 1991–2010 ratios of uncited papers fluctuate within the interval [0,0.1]. This ratio is relatively stable and not very high. Comparison of average number of pages, average number of references, average number of authors per paper and percentage of single-authored papers between cited and uncited papers shows that no matter the journal, the first three indicators’ values for uncited papers are lower, while the values of the fourth indicator are higher, than the corresponding values for cited papers. The fact that almost all uncited authors in a journal published only one paper in this journal illustrates that a journal's uncited authors are the least productive authors in this journal. Yet, productive and highly cited authors also publish uncited papers. As to why some topics fall into the group of uncited topics, the hypothesis is that the combination of unfamiliar keywords forms an unfamiliar topic, a topic authors have elected not to study further. Another assumption is that some uncited topics fall outside the field of Library and Information Science. Retrieval results in the Web of Science for a set of uncited keywords and keyword combinations support this assumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Liang, Liming & Zhong, Zhen & Rousseau, Ronald, 2015. "Uncited papers, uncited authors and uncited topics: A case study in library and information science," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 50-58.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:infome:v:9:y:2015:i:1:p:50-58
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joi.2014.11.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hu, Zewen & Wu, Yishan, 2014. "Regularity in the time-dependent distribution of the percentage of never-cited papers: An empirical pilot study based on the six journals," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 136-146.
    2. Wallace, Matthew L. & Larivière, Vincent & Gingras, Yves, 2009. "Modeling a century of citation distributions," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 296-303.
    3. Bar-Ilan, Judit, 2008. "Informetrics at the beginning of the 21st century—A review," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-52.
    4. Abramo, Giovanni & Cicero, Tindaro & D’Angelo, Ciriaco Andrea, 2014. "Are the authors of highly cited articles also the most productive ones?," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 89-97.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Zhao, Star X. & Tan, Alice M. & Yu, Shuang & Xu, Xin, 2018. "Analyzing the research funding in physics: The perspective of production and collaboration at institution level," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 508(C), pages 662-674.
    2. Pablo Dorta-González & Rafael Suárez-Vega & María Isabel Dorta-González, 0. "Open access effect on uncitedness: a large-scale study controlling by discipline, source type and visibility," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 0, pages 1-26.
    3. Jeppe Nicolaisen & Tove Faber Frandsen, 2019. "Zero impact: a large-scale study of uncitedness," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 119(2), pages 1227-1254, May.
    4. Zewen Hu & Yishan Wu & Jianjun Sun, 2018. "A quantitative analysis of determinants of non-citation using a panel data model," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 116(2), pages 843-861, August.
    5. Ruben Miranda & Esther Garcia-Carpintero, 2019. "Comparison of the share of documents and citations from different quartile journals in 25 research areas," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 121(1), pages 479-501, October.
    6. Pablo Dorta-González & Rafael Suárez-Vega & María Isabel Dorta-González, 2020. "Open access effect on uncitedness: a large-scale study controlling by discipline, source type and visibility," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 124(3), pages 2619-2644, September.
    7. Zewen Hu & Angela Lin & Peter Willett, 2019. "Identification of research communities in cited and uncited publications using a co-authorship network," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 118(1), pages 1-19, January.

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