Journal of information science vol:21 issue:1 pages:37-53
In an exploratory study, the time behaviour of citations to articles of seven journals representing different scientific fields (sociology, psychology, chemistry, general and internal medicine, statistics and probability theory) were analysed to establish: (i) differences in ageing and reception speed between social sciences and other science fields, to determine (ii) if there are connections between ageing and reception, and (iii) if deviations are due to fields or individual journals. Bibliometric methods and citation-based indicators were used within a stochastic model. It was found that obsolescence of the social science journals in the set is slower than for the medical and chemistry journals, The behaviour of the mathematical journal is similar to the ones in social sciences. The study suggests that ageing seems to be specific to the field rather than to the individual journal. On the other hand, slow ageing does not necessarily correspond with slow response. Impact factors based on the usual two years' observation period may therefore be distorted by deviating ageing behaviour.