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Off the beaten track: exploring what lies outside paths of most frequently cited publications in citation networks

Author(s): Tom Brughmans

Year: 2015

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Most citation network analysis techniques are designed to identify the main paths of the ‘flow of academic influence’ through a citation network, or result in a ranking of publications with the highest scores for certain network measures. Although such results are interesting, they are not always particularly surprising. A recent application of citation network techniques to a network of archaeological literature concluded that a literature review will allow one to identify key works and the main paths of influence more rapidly, although intuitively (Brughmans 2013). Citation network techniques were considered particularly useful for their ability to identify communities of scientific practice in very large datasets.

This paper aims to evaluate the ability of citation network analysis techniques applied to large datasets to make non-trivial contributions to a close reading of a corpus of archaeological literature, without the common focus on a handful of well-known authors and publications. It will therefore explore the use of citation network analysis techniques for archaeological publications further, by reviewing methods that highlight features of publications in citation networks other than high citation counts, and evaluating how community detection methods can replace the focus from most-cited papers to the communities within which they emerge.

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Off the beaten track: exploring what lies outside paths of most frequently cited publications in citation networks. Tom Brughmans. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395069)


Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America