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50 Years of Citation Indexing

.: Dana Roth reports on PAMNET that the current issue of Current Science, v83 n9, 10 November 2005, has a feature section called 50 Years of Citation Indexing. From the editorial:

We celebrate in this issue the fiftieth anniversary of a paper published by Gene Garfield. What is so great about that paper in Science 1955? In some ways, that paper sketched the conceptual foundations of scientometrics, which was later enriched by Garfield, Derek de Solla Price, Joshua Lederberg and Robert Merton. More importantly, it led to wholly new ways of searching the literature and understanding the structure of scientific knowledge. Says Joshua Lederberg, in the Preface he wrote for Genetics Citation Index in 1963, and which we have reproduced in this issue (page 1502): ‘I had no idea how to look up the literature in the documentation field and from past experience with subject indexing in science had little confidence in the utility of a literature search’. Lederberg found the perfect solution to his problem in citation indexing. ‘It was parallel to many others in my own research activity. How often I have run across some older reports on methods or on some curiosities of bacterial variations and been frustrated in attempts to find later work on the same subject and, especially, critical enlargement on the earlier work.’ It was fitting that Garfield chose a geneticist to introduce his revolutionary database, as geneticists are concerned with parent–offspring relationships that make it easy for them to understand ‘the structure of scientific activity that is inherent in citational references’
Among the featured articles is one authored by Dana, titled "The emergence of competitors to the Science Citation Index and the Web of Science." Other articles include: "Early impressions of citation indexing" by Joshua Lederberg, "Citation and hyperlink networks" by Andrea Scharnhorst and Mike Thelwall, and "As we may search – Comparison of major features of the Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar citation-based and citation-enhanced databases" by Péter Jacsó.

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