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Re: The status of Semantic Web community- perspective from Scopus and Web Of Science (WOS)

From: Frank Manola <fmanola@acm.org>
Date: Sat, 13 Feb 2010 15:03:24 -0500
Message-id: <0139F352-3082-4A32-8921-F4224446D27E@acm.org>
To: Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>
This whole subject could be made the basis of some interesting further analysis from a number of points of view.  For example;

a.  if the goal was to be specific to the semantic web, why was not "web" one of the search terms, e.g., to weed out the "semantic data model" stuff from the database literature, and the pure AI and logic programming stuff?   Admittedly all that other stuff is somewhat relevant, but still...

b.  referring to Jeremy's comment, if the W3C recs were really widely cited (and at least some were typically cited once they were actually recs, even in academic papers), why didn't they come up in the analysis more frequently?  

c.  more importantly, why weren't the earlier activities (PICS-NG and so on) cited more frequently?  In earlier periods I don't think the Web was considered very much as an academic research area.  Later on though, I think this illustrates a general problem with how thoroughly papers cite the  relevant background literature in their field (which is *not* restricted to the academic literature).   Many papers unfortunately cite only enough "previous work" to show that there's something new being presented (and not always accurately at that!).  As Dan notes, this "risks misleading younger developers about how to make an impact on the world".  But it also presents a skewed picture of the history of what really happened (this is why professional historians get special training in how to assess various kinds of documents).  


On Feb 13, 2010, at 2:12 PM, Jeremy Carroll wrote:

> Dan Brickley wrote:
>> However it did not leave any footprint in the academic literature. We
>> might ask why. Like much of the work around W3C and tech industry
>> standards, the artifacts it left behind don't often show up in the
>> citation databases. A white paper here, a Web-based specification
>> there, ... it's influence cannot easily be measured through academic
>> citation patterns, despite the fact that without it, the vast majority
>> of papers mentioned in
>> http://info.slis.indiana.edu/~dingying/Publication/JIS-1098-v4.pdf
>> would never have existed.


> Ying Ding's paper suffers from excluding technical papers such as W3C recs. These are widely cited, typically moreso than academic work. They also have better review process than academic stuff.
> I tend to agree with Dan that her work misrepresents what really happened.
> Jeremy
Received on Saturday, 13 February 2010 20:04:09 UTC

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