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Tuesday, October 10 • 10:30am - 12:00pm
Towards Detecting Hype and Controversies in the Life Sciences Literature via Citation Patterns

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Although citation analysis is an established field, its use in the life sciences literature for measuring academic research impact is most often targeted toward simplified parameters or ‘scores’. Furthermore, the sheer growing volume of the literature combined with the institutional incentives to cultivate ‘high-impact’ publications only makes the problems related to reproducibility, propagation of wrong theories and results, and changes in the scientific consensus more acute.


We propose to obtain a series of indicators, or profile, in subsets of known controversial life sciences literature that can be applied to detect past, unheralded controversies and developing ones. For example, one anecdotal pattern is that of a ‘high-impact’ (as measured by both citations and press coverage) publication subsequently rebutted by a series of ‘low-impact’ studies. We plan to take into account citation networks, citation modalities, press coverage, retraction records, journal impact factors and other measures to determine if a reliable bibliometric profile can be established to search the literature. We will look to the methodology of past bibliometric studies on paradigm shifts and failed information epidemics previously applied to the physics and mathematics literature and adapt it as appropriate to the modern life sciences literature.


Preliminary findings will be presented at the meeting.


Tuesday October 10, 2017 10:30am - 12:00pm
Black and Gold Room Tiger Hotel

Attendees (6)