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Abstract

This paper introduces a comprehensive system for classifying scholarly journals according to their degree of ‘application orientation.’ The method extends earlier models and journal classification systems that were designed to tackle the crude duality between ‘basic research’ and ‘applied research.’ This metrics-based system rests on a ‘Knowledge Utilization Triangle’ typology, which distinguishes three types of coexisting knowledge application domains: ‘clinical,’ ‘industrial,’ and ‘civic.’ The empirical data relate to the institutional origin of authors who publish their research papers in the scientific journal literature. The case study applies indicators of ‘clinical relevance’ and ‘industrial relevance’ to 11,000 journals indexed by the Web of Science (WoS) database. The resulting multidimensional classification system of journals comprises six Journal Application Domain (JAD) categories. Macro-level trend analysis of the WoS-indexed research publication output by JAD category reveals redistributions within global science during the years 1999–2008, with a slight increase of output published in ‘industrially relevant’ journals.