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return The Delineation of an Interdisciplinary Specialty in terms of a Journal Set: The Case of Communication Studies Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology (forthcoming)

By Loet Leydesdorff and Carole Probst


A journal set in an interdisciplinary or newly developing area can be determined by including the journals classified under the most relevant ISI Subject Categories into a journal-journal citation matrix. Despite the fuzzy character of borders, factor analysis of the citation patterns enables us to delineate the specific set by discarding the noise. This methodology is illustrated using communication studies as a hybrid development between political science and social psychology. The development can be visualized using animations which support the claim that a specific journal set in communication studies is increasingly developing, notably in the “being cited ” patterns. The resulting set of 28 journals in communication studies is smaller and more focused than the 45 journals classified by the ISI Subject Categories as “Communication. ” The proposed method is tested for its robustness by extending the relevant environments to sets including many more journals

Topics: interdisciplinarity, classification, journal, communication studies, factor analysis
Year: 2010
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