Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Science: why do team-authored papers get cited more?

The Sept. 14 issue of Science has commentary on an earlier May 18 paper by S. Wuchty et al. on why team-authored papers get cited more than solo papers.

Alexander Bentley of Durham University writes: "In demonstrating the increasing dominance of teams in academic and patent publishing, Wuchty et al. use a circular argument regarding scientific progress, defining impact as 'the number of citations each paper and patent receives.'

Bentley continues: In academic publishing, authors clearly COPY THE CITATIONS FROM OTHER PAPERS... With COPYING underlying much of popular cultural change, the real question is, how does number of citations relate to quality? [IPBiz has added the emphasis]

In defense of the paper Wuchty of Northwestern includes an argument:

Second, a self-promotion argument does not explain the team citation advantage for patents, where citation decisions are primarily made by disinterested third-party experts, with a citation to J. Alcacer in Rev. Econ. Stat., 88, 774 (2006). As IPBiz and LBE have both noted, economists are not the best source of information on patent law and regulations. A patent applicant can submit a 1449 form and those references will appear within the references cited.

See 317 Science 1496-8 discussing an artilce on page 1036 of the May 18, 07 issue of Science.

***Separately, see various prior IPBiz posts on citation issues.

For those interested, the 14 Sept issue of Science also carries an article "Checkers is solved by J. Schaeffer et al. 317 Science 1518.


Blogger Lawrence B. Ebert said...

See also

4:57 PM  

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