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SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

Interdisciplinary collaboration is a major goal in research policy. This study uses citation analysis to examine diverse subjects in the Web of Science and Scopus to ascertain whether, in general, research published in journals classified in more than one subject is more highly cited than research published in journals classified in a single subject. For each subject, the study divides the journals into two disjoint sets called Multi and Mono. Multi consists of all journals in the subject and at least one other subject whereas Mono consists of all journals in the subject and in no other subject. The main findings are: (a) For social science subject categories in both the Web of Science and Scopus, the average citation levels of articles in Mono and Multi are very similar; and (b) for Scopus subject categories within life sciences, health sciences, and physical sciences, the average citation level of Mono articles is roughly twice that of Multi articles. Hence, one cannot assume that in general, multidisciplinary research will be more highly cited, and the converse is probably true for many areas of science. A policy implication is that, at least in the sciences, multidisciplinary researchers should not be evaluated by citations on the same basis as monodisciplinary researchers.