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Going Beyond Counting First Authors in Author Co-citation Analysis

Dangzhi Zhao

Sparking Synergies: Bringing Research and Practice Together @ ASIST '05 (ASIS&T 2005)
Westin Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, October 28 - November 2, 2005


The present study examines one of the fundamental aspects of author co-citation analysis (ACA) – the way co-citation counts are defined. Co-citation counting provides the data on which all subsequent statistical analyses and mapping are based, and we compare ACA results based on two different types of co-citation counting – the traditional type that only counts the first one among a cited work’s authors on the one hand and the type of co-citation counting that takes into account all the authors of a cited work on the other hand. Results indicate that the picture produced through all-author co-citation analysis contains more coherent author groups and is therefore considerably clearer. However, this picture represents fewer specialties in the research field being studied than that produced through first-author co-citation analysis when the same number of top-ranked authors is selected and analyzed. Reasons for these effects are discussed.

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