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The thematic and conceptual flow of disciplinary research: A citation context analysis of the journal of informetrics, 2007



This article analyzes the context of citations within the full text of research articles. It studies articles published in a single journal: the Journal of Informetrics (JOI), in the first year the journal was published, 2007. The analysis classified the citations into in- and out-disciplinary content and looked at their use within the articles' sections such as introduction, literature review, methodology, findings, discussion, and conclusions. In addition, it took into account the age of cited articles. A thematic analysis of these citations was performed in order to identify the evolution of topics within the articles sections and the journal's content. A matrix describing the relationships between the citations' use, and their in- and out-disciplinary focus within the articles' sections is presented. The findings show that an analysis of citations based on their in- and out-disciplinary orientation within the context of the articles' sections can be an indication of the manner by which cross-disciplinary science works, and reveals the connections between the issues, methods, analysis, and conclusions coming from different research disciplines.