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The dynamics of triads in aggregated journal–journal citation relations: Specialty developments at the above-journal level

Wouter de Nooy and Loet Leydesdorff ()

Journal of Informetrics, 2015, vol. 9, issue 3, 542-554

Abstract: Dyads of journals—related by citations—can agglomerate into specialties through the mechanism of triadic closure. Using the Journal Citation Reports 2011, 2012, and 2013, we analyze triad formation as indicators of integration (specialty growth) and disintegration (restructuring). The strongest integration is found among the large journals that report on studies in different scientific specialties, such as PLoS ONE, Nature Communications, Nature, and Science. This tendency toward large-scale integration has not yet stabilized. Using the Islands algorithm, we also distinguish 51 local maxima of integration. We zoom into the cited articles that carry the integration for: (i) a new development within high-energy physics and (ii) an emerging interface between the journals Applied Mathematical Modeling and the International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology. In the first case, integration is brought about by a specific communication reaching across specialty boundaries, whereas in the second, the dyad of journals indicates an emerging interface between specialties. These results suggest that integration picks up substantive developments at the specialty level. An advantage of the bottom-up method is that no ex ante classification of journals is assumed in the dynamic analysis.

Keywords: Specialty; Journal; Triadic closure; Bottom-up; Dynamic (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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