In academia, the number of citations that an article receives is considered one of the most important measures of scientific impact and quality. The academic competition for grants and research positions places high value on such measures, in addition to the number of publications by any given researcher. Inside Higher Ed brought this interesting information to our attention in their article, “Uncited Research.

There are particular fields of chemistry or neuroscience that are virtually guaranteed to be cited after five years, but more than three-quarters of papers in literary theory or the performing arts will still be waiting for a single citation.

These vast differences across disciplines have emerged from an analysis of bibliometric data from the Elsevier Scopus database (by Billy Wong of Times Higher Education’s data team.)

According to the analysis, which looked at disciplines in which at least 10,000 pieces of research were published between 2012 and 2016, almost 77 percent of publications from 2012 in the visual and performing arts were still uncited by 2017.

Melody K. Smith

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