Identifying Research Fields within Business and Management: A Journal Cross-Citation Analysis

See on Scoop.itDual impact of research; towards the impactelligent university


A discipline such as business and management (B&M) is very broad and has many fields within it, ranging from fairly scientific ones such as management science or economics to softer ones such as information systems. There are at least two reasons why it is important to identify these sub-fields accurately. Firstly, for the purpose of normalizing citation data as it is well known that citation rates vary significantly between different disciplines. Secondly, because journal rankings and lists tend to split their classifications into different subjects, for example the the Association of Business Schools (ABS) list, which is a standard in the UK, has 22 different fields. Unfortunately, at the moment these are created in an ad hoc manner with no underlying rigour. The purpose of this paper is to identify possible sub-fields in B&M rigorously based on actual citation patterns. We have examined 450 journals in B&M which are included in the ISI Web of Science (WoS) and analysed the cross-citation rates between them enabling us to generate sets of coherent and consistent sub-fields that minimise the extent to which journals appear in several categories. Implications and limitations of the analysis are discussed.


The authors:

“This paper has shown that it is possible to identify sub-fields within the business and management discipline by analysing the cross-citations between journals. Using factor analysis, we have been able to construct several solutions, with different numbers of sub-fields, which are clear and consistent. There are two main reasons for doing this. The first is for the purpose of normalising citation metrics since citation rates vary significantly across disciplines. We have found that there are at least two significantly different groups of sub-fields with respect to citation rates whether we consider the 10-group or the 22-group solution. These are different from the fields that are defined in WoS, which are somewhat arbitrary, although they are often used for citation metrics.”



Identifying Research Fields within Business and Management: A Journal Cross-Citation AnalysisJohn Mingers, Loet Leydesdorff  Digital Libraries (cs.DL)Cite as:arXiv:1212.6773 [cs.DL] (or arXiv:1212.6773v1 [cs.DL] for this version)
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About Wilfred Mijnhardt
RMIMR is my virtual playground, a place to reflect on issues from my professional context, my job as Policy Director at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). RSM is the international university based business school at Erasmus University Rotterdam. More info here: Here is my list of relevant publications on the topic of my RMIMR weblog: The rss feed for my RMIMR collection is here: Here is my other weblog on impact of research:

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