THE USE OF CITATION DATA IN WRITING THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE
INSTITUTE FOR SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION INC PHILADELPHIA PA
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A study is reported which tested the hypothesis that citation indexes are useful heuristic tools for the historian. In this approach, the history of science is regarded as a chronological sequence of events in which each new discovery is dependent upon earlier discoveries. Models of history were constructed consisting of chronological maps or topological network diagrams. Two such models were used here. The first is based on the events in the history of DNA as described by Dr. Isaac Asimov in the Genetic Code. The second is based on the bibliographic citation data contained in the documents which are the original published studies of events represented in the Asimov book. The interdependencies of linkages among 40 major events nodes included in both network diagrams were mapped and compared. The study confirmed 65 28 of 43 of the historical dependencies in the Asimov network by corresponding linkages established by citations. In addition, 31 citation connections were found which did not correspond to any historical dependencies noted in The Genetic Code.
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