I finally got a copy of Judith Kleinfeld's controversial "Small World
Problem" paper in Society Today, 1/02 in which she critiques Milgram (as
discussed on SocNet a while back).
One sentence (p. 63, 2nd column) brought me up short:
"I spent months tracking down obscure journals and triumphantly located
the author (Euge Garfield "It's a Small World After All" Current Contents,
1973, 43: 5-10) of a mysterious research review of the small world problem
that had been sent to Miglram for his comments."
1. Current Contents is Not an obscure journal. It is well-known to every
academic librarian. It is a compilation of the tabels of contents of
scholarly journals. Indeed, that is how I obtained most of the abstracts
for the first years of Connections, our own informal journal.
2. Eugene Garfield is certainly Not obscure. He started ISI and
reportedly made millions doing it, becoming a key figure in
information science. ISI became the key source for citation analysis, not
only publishing CUrrent Contents but also Social Science Citation Index,
Science Citation Index, etc. Everyone in the info sci field, and many
others knew him or knew of him. (Indeed, I can think of one social network
analysts who worked directly with him.) Dr Garfield is dead now, I
believe, but he also had a strong scholarly reputation himself in citation
analysis (you gotta admit he was well-situated for it.) In current
history, ISI now runs some of the leading online citation sources, it
started ProCite (a leading bibliographic program) and a few years ago
bought Endnote, the biblio. program which I use.
It does lead me to wonder why Dr Kleinfeld triumphally reports her heroic
discovery of the obvious.
Barry Wellman Professor of Sociology NetLab Director
[log in to unmask] http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman
Centre for Urban & Community Studies University of Toronto
455 Spadina Avenue Toronto Canada M5S 2G8 fax:+1-416-978-7162