Since citation indexes came into the limelight during the mid-1960s, citation networks have become increasingly important for many different research fields. The book begins by investigating the empirical, philosophical, and mathematical foundations of bibliometrics, including its beginnings with the Science Citation Index, the theoretical framework behind it, and its mathematical underpinnings. It then examines the application of bibliometrics and citation analysis in the sciences and science studies, especially the sociology of science and science policy. Finally it provides a view of the future of bibliometrics, exploring in detail the ongoing extension of bibliometric methods to the structure and dynamics of the World Wide Web.
This book gives newcomers to the field of bibliometrics an accessible entry point to an entire research tradition otherwise scattered through a vast amount of journal literature. At the same time, it brings to the forefront the cross-disciplinary linkages between the various fields (sociology, philosophy, mathematics, politics) that intersect at the crossroads of citation analysis. Because of its discursive and interdisciplinary approach, the book is useful to those in every area of scholarship involved in the quantitative analysis of information exchanges, but also to science historians and general readers who simply wish to familiarize themselves with an important, albeit increasingly complex area of information science.