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Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
vol 55, #2, Jan 2004
"Does Citation Reflect Social Structure? Longitudinal Evidence From the
'Globenet' Interdisciplinary Research Group'
Howard D. White, Barry Wellman, and Nancy Nazer
Published online 13 November 2003 pp. 111-126
White, Wellman, and Nazer investigate the inter-citation patterns of the
16 international interdisciplinary members of a research group established
in 1993 to study human development with the hope of determining whether
citation is based on whom those who cite know, or upon what they know,
i.e., whether the patterns are social or intellectual in structure. The
members of the group are acquainted and the study of the 240 possible
pairs indicates that half collaborate and read each other's work, and 74%
consider themselves friends or colleagues. Inter-citation patterns were
studied prior to 1989, from 1989 to 1992, 1993 to 1996, and 1997 to 2000.
Co-citation is shown to predict inter- citation; one cites those with whom
one is co-cited. As members became better acquainted, citation of one
another increased. Inter-citation was not randomly distributed with a core
group of 12 pairs predominating. Friends cited friends more than
acquaintances, and inter-citers communicated more than non-inter- citers.
However, intellectual affinity, as shown by co-citation, rather than
social ties, leads to inter-citation.
Barry Wellman Professor of Sociology NetLab Director
wellman at chass.utoronto.ca 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
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