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A comparison of cognitive and organizational classification of publications in the social sciences and humanities

Raf Guns (), Linda Sīle (), Joshua Eykens (), Frederik T. Verleysen () and Tim C. E. Engels ()
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Raf Guns: University of Antwerp
Linda Sīle: University of Antwerp
Joshua Eykens: University of Antwerp
Frederik T. Verleysen: University of Antwerp
Tim C. E. Engels: University of Antwerp

Scientometrics, 2018, vol. 116, issue 2, 1093-1111

Abstract: Abstract We study the discrepancy between two ways of classifying publications in the social sciences and humanities (SSH): on the basis of the contents of publications and publication channels (cognitive classification) or on the basis of the organizational structure of departments, faculties etc. (organizational classification). Using data for the period 2000–2015 from 76,076 peer reviewed publications (co-)authored by SSH researchers affiliated to a Flemish university, we compare the organizational classification of the publications with a cognitive classification based on OECD Fields Of Science. In all fields except one, the cognitive discipline with the most publications is the one that most closely matches the organizational discipline, although there are substantial differences between disciplines in terms of overlap and concentration. At a higher aggregation level, we find that 73% of publications from the humanities are published in humanities publication channels, while this is only the case for 59% of publications from the social sciences. Social sciences are shown to have important links to medicine and health sciences. The spread of publications over cognitive disciplines, including non-SSH disciplines, is only partially related to the assignment of some publication channels to multiple FOS fields as well as multidisciplinary collaboration. Our study shows that it is quite common for researchers affiliated to an organizational unit to also carry out research in other domains.

Keywords: Social sciences; Humanities; Cognitive classification; Organizational classification; 62P25 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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