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The impact of core documents: a citation analysis of the 2003 Science Citation Index core-document population

Conference paper
Authors Bo Jarneving
Published in 14th International Society of Scientometrics and Informetrics Conference, 15th to 19th July 2013, Vienna , Austria
Volume 1
Pages 955-965
ISBN 978-3-200-03135-7
ISSN 2175-1935
Publication year 2013
Published at Gothenburg University Library, Digital Services
Pages 955-965
Language en
Keywords Bibliographic coupling, core-document, research front, citation impact
Subject categories Library and information science


In the 1960s Kessler introduced bibliographic coupling as a method for grouping research papers, facilitating scientific information provision. Later research has verified the applicability of this method in various information science contexts, such as information retrieval and science mapping. In this study the impact of so called ‘core-documents’, previously highlighted in the context of research front mapping, was elaborated applying state of the art impact indicators and varying citation windows. Due to limited resources, a random sample from the 2003 core-document population from the Science Citation Index was applied for statistical inference. Results were analyzed at the 95 % confidence level, applying confidence intervals for the arithmetic mean, proportions and the regression line. Findings indicated that core-documents were well cited above baselines and that a large share belonged to the top-cited papers of the world. Findings, not contradicting previous results, but providing with considerably more detail, lay ground for a more nuanced interpretation of core-documents’ citation impact, where previous claims of key-positions in the science communication system where moderated. Findings also indicated that core-documents may have a rate of obsolescence notably deviating from the world average.

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