Citation Networks of Communication Journals, 1977–1985 Cliques and Positions, Citations Made and Citations Received



    1. Ronald E. Rice (Ph.D., Stanford University, 1982), is at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089.
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    1. Christine L. Borgman (Ph.D., Stanford University, 1984), is an associate professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90024.
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    1. Byron Reeues (Ph.D., Michigan State University, 1976), is a professor at the Institute for Communication Research, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. The authors acknowledge the exceptional contributions Diane Bednarski made to this project in designing and conducting the collection of the citation data. The following people also provided assistance: Eric Wade and Doug Shook for their help in collecting data; Doug Shook and Ellen Sleeter for writing software to manage the data; Steve Borgatti, Dr. Lin Freeman, and Dr. William Richards for making network analysis software available; and the UCLA Academic Senate for partial funding of this research. We also thank anonymous reviewers for their comments on a previous version of this article.
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This article analyzes the pattern of citations among all communication journals covered by the first nine years of the Journal Citation Reports volume of the Social Sciences Citation Index (Garfield, 1977–1985). It approaches these analyses from two perspectives: (1) bibliometric analysis of citation flows, ratios, and impact factors, and (2) network analysis of both cohesion-based and position-based citation patterns. The field of communication exhibits clear clustering and inbreeding, consisting of cliques of interpersonal journals, mass media journals, and residual isolate journals. Citation patterns within and across these cliques have been very stable from 1977 through 1985. The cohesion analyses show that Human Communication Research and Communication Education provide weak ties from mass media journals to interpersonal communication journals. The Journal of Communication is cited the most strongly by the most journals, and provides, by means of citations, bidirectional channels for the flow of scientific information between mass media journals and interpersonal journals. The positional analyses show that the set of journals that has similar citing patterns is somewhat different from the set of journals that is cited similarly. In particular, the set of sources for the research reported in articles in these journals is not similar to the set of journals that refer to the articles in these journals.