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Competition in science and the Matthew core journals


  • Manfred Bonitz


  • Andrea Scharnhorst

    (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung)


Competition is one of the most essential features of science. A new journal indicator - the"number of Matthew citations in a journal" was found that reflects certain aspects of thiscompetition. The indicator mirrors the competition of countries in scientific journals forrecognition in terms of seemingly "redistributed" citations. The indicator shows, as do other journal indicators, an extreme skewed distribution over anensemble of 2712 SCI journals. Half of all Matthew citations are contained in 144 so-calledMatthew core journals. In this paper, a new typology of scientific journals, including the Matthew core journals, isintroduced. For a few selected journals, graphs are presented showing national impact factors aswell as the absolute number of Matthew citations gained or lost by the countries publishing in thejournal. Scientific competition among countries for recognition is strongest in the Matthew corejournals, they are the most competitive markets for scientific publications. Conclusions are drawnfor national science policy, for the journal acquisition policy of national libraries, and for thepublication behaviour of individual scientists.

Suggested Citation

  • Manfred Bonitz & Andrea Scharnhorst, 2001. "Competition in science and the Matthew core journals," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 51(1), pages 37-54, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:51:y:2001:i:1:d:10.1023_a:1010508510398
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1010508510398

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. M. Bonitz & E. Bruckner & Andrea Scharnhorst, 1999. "The matthew index—Concentration patterns and Matthew core journals," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 44(3), pages 361-378, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marc Correa & Lucinio González-Sabaté & Ignacio Serrano, 2013. "Home bias effect in the management literature," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 95(1), pages 417-433, April.
    2. Vladimir Pislyakov & Ekaterina Dyachenko, 2010. "Citation expectations: are they realized? Study of the Matthew index for Russian papers published abroad," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 83(3), pages 739-749, June.
    3. Rafael Aleixandre & Juan Carlos Valderrama & José María Desantes & Antonio J. Torregrosa, 2004. "Identification of information sources and citation patterns in the field of reciprocating internal combustion engines," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 59(3), pages 321-336, March.
    4. Daniele Fanelli, 2012. "Negative results are disappearing from most disciplines and countries," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 90(3), pages 891-904, March.
    5. Hajar Sotudeh & Abbas Horri, 2009. "Countries positioning in open access journals system: An investigation of citation distribution patterns," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 81(1), pages 7-31, October.

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