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Scientometrics (2011) 86:449–461

DOI 10.1007/s11192-010-0275-8

Looking across communicative genres: a call for inclusive

indicators of interdisciplinarity

Cassidy R. Sugimoto

Received: 13 April 2010 / Published online: 15 August 2010

 Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2010

Abstract Disciplines vary in the types of communicative genres they use to disseminate
knowledge and citing patterns used within these genres. However, citation analyses have
predominately relied on the references and citations of one type of communicative genre. It
is argued that this is particularly problematic for studies of interdisciplinarity, where
analyses bias the disciplines that communicate using the genre under investigation. This
may lead to inaccurate or incomplete results in terms of fully understanding the interre-
lationships between disciplines. This study analyzes a set of 15,870 references from 97 LIS
dissertations, in order to demonstrate the difference in discipline and author rankings,
based on the genre under investigation. This work encourages future work that takes into
account multiple citing and cited works, especially where indicators of interdisciplinarity
are used for the allocation of resources or ranking of scholars.

Keywords Interdisciplinarity  Disciplinarity  Communicative genres  LC class 

Citation analysis


Disciplines vary in the types of communicative genres they use to disseminate knowledge
and citing patterns used within these genres. However, while scholars have acknowledged
this difference in knowledge production and citing behavior (e.g., Larivière et al. 2006;
Skilton 2006), citation analyses still primarily rely on a single citing and cited genre (most
often journal articles). This is a serious limitation, which can lead to inaccurate and
incomplete results. Particularly problematic are studies of interdisciplinarity. As disci-
plines vary in communicative norms, one must take into account whether the type of genre
studied equally represents the knowledge production and citations of all disciplines under

C. R. Sugimoto (&)
School of Library and Information Science, Indiana University Bloomington,
1320 East 10th Street, LI 029, Bloomington, IN 47405-3907, USA

450 C. R. Sugimoto

The objective of this communication is to demonstrate the differences in ranking and

results of indicators of interdisciplinarity, when examining particular cited genres. This
work utilizes a set of 15,870 references from 97 Library and Information Science (LIS)
dissertations. The results from this work are informative for those scholars and policy
makers concerned with indicators of interdiscipinarity and rankings of scholars.


Interdisciplinarity has been called ‘‘the watchword of our times…a ‘mantra’ of contem-
porary science policy…and an ‘imperative’’’ (Feller 2006, p. 5) of current scientific
endeavors. Interdisciplinarity has been heavily promoted by funding agencies and aca-
demic institutions (Bordons et al. 1999; Porter et al. 2007) with studies showing an
increasing level of interdisciplinarity across many areas of research (e.g., Morillo et al.
2003; Porter and Rafols 2009) and an increased focus on interdisciplinarity as a research
topic (e.g., Braun and Schubert 2003). With the rise of interest in interdisciplinarity
indicators as evaluative tools, comes an imperative to create indicators that are accurate
and complete.
Many of the current constructs for understanding interdisciplinarity rely on implicit
understandings of disciplinarity (Porter et al. 2008). Numerous constructs of disciplinarity
have been explored with an emphasis on the social behaviors of disciplines, including
invisible colleges (Price et al. 1966), academic tribes (Becher 1989), communities of
practices (Lave and Wenger 1991), paradigms (Kuhn 1996), discourse communities
(Hyland 2004), and epistemic cultures (Knorr Cetina 2007). One common theme across
these constructs is that disciplines are intellectual spaces characterized by certain norms
and accepted behaviors—especially in terms of what can be studied within the domain and
how that information can be communicated.
This act of communicating forms the foundation of many definitions of disciplinarity.
Hyland (2004) states the importance of the act of academic writing by stating: ‘‘writing,
therefore, is not simply marginal to disciplines, merely an epiphenomenon on the
boundaries of academic practice…[o]n the contrary, it helps to create those disciplines’’
(p. 5). This sentiment is echoed by Montgomery who notes: ‘‘There are no boundaries, no
walls, between the doing of science and the communication of it; communicating is the
doing of science’’ (as cited in Cronin 2005, p. 7). It is perhaps not unexpected therefore,
that the formal texts produced by this communication are often the unit of analysis when
exploring disciplinary structures and practices.
The majority of interdisciplinarity studies utilize bibliometric techniques, with an
emphasis on citation analysis. The argument is that if science is created through scholarly
writing, then we can identify documents as the carriers of disciplinary understanding and
structure and see exchange between these documents in the forms of citations and refer-
ences (see de Bellis (2009) for a historical overview of this argument). In addition to
identifying connections between and among disciplines, scholars have utilized citation
analysis to detect new research fronts and research developing at the ‘‘frontier’’ (e.g.,
Leydesdorff and Schank 2008; Shibata et al. 2009; Wallace et al. 2009) and develop
visualizations to show the interrelationships between disciplines and the entire field of
science (e.g., Boyack et al. 2005; Klavans and Boyack 2006, 2009; Leydesdorff and Rafols
A common method in these studies follows three initial stages: choose a corpus of
documents, obtain citation data for the documents and classify the documents/citations into

A call for inclusive indicators of interdisciplinarity 451

disciplines or subject areas. Nearly all studies have relied on Thomson Reuters’ tools for
accessing documents and citation data, particularly the Science Citation Index, Social
Science Citation Index, and the Journal Citation Reports. Cocitation and intercitation data
is frequently analyzed, with authors examining symmetrical (e.g., McCain 1998) and
asymmetrical matrices (e.g., Leydesdorff 2006). These systems rely on the assignation of a
given unit (most frequently a citing or cited journal) to a discipline or field of study.
Frequent ways for assessing (inter)disciplinarity include author information (e.g., Levitt
and Thelwall 2009) and ISI subject categories. These journal classification schemes
received evaluation by Rafols and Leydesdorff (2009). However, further analysis is
required that incorporates multiple genre types.


A non-random sample of 97 LIS dissertations completed at ALA-accredited schools were

chosen for inclusion in this study.1 These dissertations were completed at 23 unique
institutions. The majority (n = 61; 63%) of the dissertations were published since 2000;
32 dissertations were published between 1990 and 1999, three dissertations were pub-
lished between 1980 and 1989; the earliest dissertation in the sample was published in
All references from the dissertation bibliographies were examined for: (1) source
type (monograph, serial, conference, etc.); (2) source title (book title, journal title,
conference title, etc.); and (3) author(s). Once all references had been coded, the
references were grouped into the three largest categories: monographs, serials, and
conferences. The references in these three categories were then individually searched in
WorldCat and an LC class was assigned to each, based on the record used by the
largest number of libraries. LC class, although it has many limitations (see Sugimoto
2010), was used in order to provide a consistent classification scheme across all the


In total, 15,870 references were identified across the 97 dissertations (see Fig. 1 for
descriptive statistics for the number of references per dissertation).

Types of references

Each reference was classified into a particular type category as it was entered into the
database2 and the type category was validated as the source was examined in WorldCat.

For more information about this sample and the selection procedure, see Sugimoto (2010). The data was
taken from a larger study that evaluated mentoring and productivity in doctoral education. As such, the
selection criteria is embedded in this study: it must be a full-time faculty member at an ALA-accredited LIS
program, with a full-text version of the dissertation available via ProQuest, and a full and current CV
available online. The non-randomness of this selection is an acknowledged limitation of the study. As this is
a non-random sample, it should be emphasized that the results should be interpreted merely as indicators of
difference between genres, rather than indicative of the top authors/disciplines within LIS.
Type was largely determined by the citation style, but other indicators such as title were also considered.
WorldCat has a specific field for type and this was used to validate the original decision.

452 C. R. Sugimoto

Fig. 1 Number of dissertations containing set number of references

Table 1 Number and percentage

Publication type Number and percentage
of references by publication type
of total references

Serials 7,577 (47.74%)

Monographs 4,958 (31.24%)
Conferences 1,562 (9.84%)
Websites 544 (3.42%)
Reports/tech. reports 361 (2.28%)
Dissertations/theses 304 (1.91%)

Three large categories emerged from the data, namely: monographs, serials (predominately
journals, but also bulletins, magazines, newspapers, yearbooks, and book series), and
conferences (predominately proceedings, but also papers from symposia, colloquia,
workshops, and meetings). Table 1 displays the percentage of references across these
categories and the other top categories.3 In total, monographs, serials, and conferences
comprised 88.82% (n = 14,097) of the total citations.
Each source type was analyzed to identify how many unique source titles occurred in
each source. For monographs, 3,460 unique titles of the 4,958 total monograph titles were
identified; 1,563 unique titles were identified among the 7,577 serials titles; 412 unique
source titles were identified among the 1,562 conference sources. Figure 2 displays the
differences in percentage of unique titles in each communicative genre.
It terms of citedness, all communicative genres exhibited a ‘‘long tail’’ distribution, with
the majority of the source titles cited by only a single dissertation (85.46% of monograph
titles, 80.34% of conferences, and 70.19% of serials titles).

It should be noted that this calculation is inclusive of all references and does not normalize based on
number of references. To analyze the effect of the extreme outlier (the dissertation with 895 references), the
analysis was additionally conducted with the removal of this outlier. The change in results was insignifi-
cant—with the removal of the outlier, serials represented 46.90%; monographs represented 31.95%, and
conferences represented 10.11%.

A call for inclusive indicators of interdisciplinarity 453

Percentage of unique titles compared

to total number of titles within source
20% 21% 26%

Source type

Fig. 2 Percentage of unique titles within each source type

Table 2 Most cited authors by communicative genre

Rank Monographs Serials Conferences All

1 Strauss, A. I. Dervin, B. Croft, W. B. Dervin, B

2 Glaser, B. G. Belkin, N. J. Saracevic, T. Saracevic, T
3 Lincoln, Y. S. Borgman, C. L. Buckley, C. Salton, G
4 Guba, E. G. Saracevic, T. Voorhees, E. M. Belkin, N.J.
5 Dervin, B. Ellis, D. Marchionini, G. Strauss, A.I.
6 Lancaster, F. W. Nilan, M. S. (6T) Belkin, N.J. (6T) Marchionini, G
7 Salton, G. Salton, G. (6T) Dervin, B. (6T) Borgman, C.L.
8 Rogers, E. M. Fidel, R. (8T) Harman, D. (8T) Kuhlthau, C.C
9 Corbin, J. M. (9T) Taylor, R. S. (8T) Oard, D. W. (8T) Croft, W.B. (9T)
10 Huberman, A. M. (9T) Kuhlthau, C. C. Raghavan, P. (8T) Taylor, R.S. (9T)
Miles, M. B. (9T)
Patton, M. Q. (9T)
Simon, H. A. (9T)
Italic text indicates that this author only appears in the top ten for that communicative genre; #T indicates a
tied ranking


As authors are often used in analyses of interdisciplinarity, an evaluation of the most cited
authors, by communicative genre, is presented. Table 2 displays the top-ten most cited
authors by genre and the most cited authors overall. Only one author, Dervin, appears in
the top ten for all communicative genres; three authors appear in the top ten of two
communicative genres; and 18 authors appear only in the top ten of one communicative
Those authors to appear in the top ten of a single genre, but not in the top ten for any
other genre were examined in regards to their ranking across other genres.

454 C. R. Sugimoto

Table 3 Rankings of authors

Author Monographs Serials Conferences
appearing in only one top ten list
across all genres
Strauss, A. I. 1 125 n/a
Glaser, B. G. 2 1,566 n/a
Lincoln, Y. S. 3 1,566 497
Guba, E. G. 4 204 n/a
Lancaster, F. W. 6 204 n/a
Rogers, E. M. 8 283 n/a
Corbin, J. M. 9 703 n/a
Huberman, A. M. 9 n/a n/a
Miles, M. B. 9 n/a n/a
Patton, M. Q. 9 n/a n/a
Simon, H. A. 9 40 227
Borgman, C. L. 82 3 71
Ellis, D. 164 5 n/a
Nilan, M. S. n/a 6 31
Fidel, R. 440 8 497
Taylor, R. S. 39 8 497
Kuhlthau, C. C. 31 10 227
Croft, W. B. n/a 31 1
Buckley, C. n/a 49 3
Voorhees, E. M. n/a 158 4
Marchionini, G. 22 16 5
Harman, D. 902 158 8
Oard, D. W. n/a 283 8
Tied scores are given equal rather Raghavan, P. n/a 703 8
than fractional counts

As is shown in Table 3, those authors who appear highly cited in monographs were not
highly cited in conferences. The reverse was also true, with the exception of Marchionini,
who appeared highly cited across all genres. However, many authors who publish and are
cited fairly well across all genres, rather than in a single genre might be disadvantaged in
evaluations using a single genre. For example, Ingwersen is ranked highly in the list of all
types combined (15th), but appears on no top ten lists (he is ranked 14th for journals, 60th
for monographs, and 227th for conferences).

LC class

Of the 14,097 references identified as monographs, serials, and conferences, an LC class

was identified for more than 95% (n = 13,477). By type, LC class was identified for 4,714
(95.08%) monographs, 7,355 (97.07%) serials, and 1,388 (88.86%) conferences. Most of
the items (n = 12,950, 92%) were classed with a single LC class; however, 1,146 (8.1%)
were classed under two classes, and 1 item was classed under three classes (Table 4).4

These classes were taken from the WorldCat record in the ‘‘Class Descriptors’’ field. Of those records
containing an LC class in the class descriptor field, the majority contain only a single class LC class (along
with classes for other systems, such as Dewey). However, some contain multiple LC classes in a single
record, within the Class Descriptor field. In these cases, each class was counted, thereby counting the record

A call for inclusive indicators of interdisciplinarity 455

Table 4 Number of classes for references of each source type

Type of References with References with References with Total for each
source one LC class two LC classes three LC classes source type

Monographs 4,733 (95.46%) 225 (4.54%) 0 (0%) 4,958

Conferences 1,374 (87.96%) 188 (12.04%) 0 (0%) 1,562
Serials 6,843 (90.31%) 733 (9.67%) 1 (0.01%) 7,577

For analysis, each LC class with which an item was identified was given an equal count.
In total, monographs were associated with 122 LC classes;5 serials were associated with
101 classes; and conferences were associated with 40 classes. These most occurring classes
for each genre were ranked and the results are presented in Table 5.
As shown in Table 5, four secondary classes occur across all three top ten lists: Z
(Books, etc.), HD (Industries, etc.), QA (Mathematics), and Q (Science (General)). Five
classes appeared in two of the top ten lists. Some of these classes, such as H: Social
sciences, did not receive a single citation in the third genre (conferences). Eight classes
appear in a single genre. These eight classes were further evaluated, to examine their rank
across the other communicative genres (Table 6).
An additional analysis was performed to examine those LC classes which favor certain
genres. To calculate this, the total number of LC class assignations for each category was
summed and the percentage of assignations in each genre was calculated. Following this,
the actual percentage of assignations for each genre within each class was calculated and
the difference between the expected percentage (if all LC classes were the same) and the
actual percentage was calculated. From this, the top 25 most productive classes (those
classes making up 90% of all LC assignations) were analyzed to identify classes in which
particular genres displayed at least a 20% increase from the expected distribution. These
are displayed in Table 7.

Most cited sources

Analysis was additionally conducted to examine the types of LC classes by genre, when
analyzing only the top sources cited. For this analysis, the number of dissertations in which
the source appeared was calculated, rather than the raw count, to mitigate the effects of a
high range and standard deviation in the number of references per dissertation. This
provides an alternate view of interdisciplinarity. As shown in Table 5, the plurality of
assignations is Z for each genre. However, we get a slightly different view when examining
particular source types and using the dissertation instead of the count as the unit. Table 8
displays the top monographs, by number of dissertations in which they are cited, along
with the LC classes.
As shown, there are more sources in the H class, than in the Z class. The top serial
sources are presented in Table 9. Nine of the top ten are assigned to the Z class.

Footnote 4 continued
multiple times, for each ‘‘discipline’’ in which it was classed. The item with three classes was the Journal of
Planning Literature.
The cutoff for a unique class was the secondary level, for example BF for psychology or the primary level,
for example Z (if no secondary level was present).

Table 5 Most frequently cited LC classes by source type

Rank Monographs Count of Serials Count of Conferences Count of Aggregated Count of

monographsa serials conferences total in class

1 Z: Books (General), 973 (20%) Z: Books (General). 3,805 (50%) Z: Books (General). 568 (36%) Z: Books (General). 5,346 (37%)
Writing. Paleography. Writing. Paleography. Writing. Paleography. Writing. Paleography.
Book industries and Book industries and Book industries and Book industries and
trade. Libraries. trade. Libraries. trade. Libraries. trade. Libraries.
Bibliography. Bibliography. Bibliography. Bibliography.
2 HM: Sociology 360 (7%) HD: Industries. Land use. 389 (5%) QA: Mathematics 404 (26%) QA: Mathematics 1,126 (8%)
(General) Labor
3 QA: Mathematics 335 (7%) QA: Mathematics 378 (5%) QC: Physics 118 (8%) HD: Industries. 764 (5%)
Land use. Labor
4 HD: Industries. 322 (6%) HF: Commerce 363 (5%) R: Medicine 69 (4%) BF: Psychology 522 (4%)
Land use. Labor
5 H: Social sciences 308 (6%) BF: Psychology 265 (3%) Q: Science 65 (4%) HM: Sociology 517 (4%)
(General) (General) (General)
6 BF: Psychology 250 (5%) R: Medicine 241 (3%) TK: Electrical 62 (4%) H: Social sciences 473 (3%)
engineering. (General)
Electronics. Nuclear
7 P: Philology. 207 (4%) T: Technology (General) 204 (3%) HD: Industries. 53 (3%) HF: Commerce 449 (3%)
Linguistics Land use. Labor
8 Q: Science (General) 158 (3%) Q: Science (General) 189 (2%) P: Philology. 41 (3%) Q: Science (General) 412 (3%)
9 LB: Theory and 151 (3%) H: Social sciences 165 (2%) TA: Engineering 29 (2%) P: Philology. 387 (3%)
practice of (General) (General). Civil Linguistics
education engineering
10 HQ: The family. 131 (3%) CD: Diplomatics. 160 (2%) T: Technology 28 (2%) R: Medicine 351 (2%)
Marriage. Womenb Archives. Seals (General)

Italic text indicates LC classes unique (within the top ten) to that source type
By the total number of classes for each source type (Table 4)
C. R. Sugimoto

The majority of sources in this category focused on feminism and women’s studies, but also included items focusing on child/youth issues and aging among other topics
A call for inclusive indicators of interdisciplinarity 457

Table 6 Rankings of classes appearing in only one top ten list across all genres
LC class Monographs Serials Conferences

HM: Sociology (General) 2 11 28

LB: Theory and practice of education 9 12 13
HQ: The family. Marriage. Women 10 18 28
HF: Commerce 19 4 12
CD: Diplomatics. Archives. Seals 22 10 18
QC: Physics 61 31 3
TK: Electrical engineering. Electronics. Nuclear engineering. 12 14 6
TA: Engineering (General). Civil engineering 49 23 9

Table 7 LC classes favoring certain source types

Source type LC class Advantage

Monographs HM: Sociology (General) 36

H: Social sciences (General) 31
HQ: The family. Marriage. Women 32
PN: Literature (General) 20
LC: Special aspects of education 37
E: History of the Americas 50
HA: Statistics 41
B: Philosophy 49
Serials HF: Commerce 25
K: Law in general. Comparative and uniform 25
law. Jurisprudence.
L: Education (General) 40
RA: Public aspects of medicine 30
Conferences QA: Mathematics 25
QC: Physics 67
TA: Engineering (General). Civil engineering 20

Table 10 displays the top conference sources. Five of these sources are classed in QA
(including HICSS, which has a double assignation).


This work displayed differences in evaluation of interdisciplinarity based on multiple

genres. One motivating factor for this type of work is the substantial portion of the cited
items that are monographs and conferences. Although dissertations are unique source types
and may display different citing patterns that other genres, the evidence here shows that a
considerable portion of potential impact may be missed when these genres are omitted.

458 C. R. Sugimoto

Table 8 Top monographs by number of dissertations in which they are cited

Source title Number of dissertations in LC
which the source is cited class

Naturalistic inquiry for library science: methods and applications 22 Z

for research evaluation and teaching
The discovery of grounded theory 21 HM
Qualitative evaluation and research methods 17 H
Handbook of qualitative research 16 H
Encyclopedia of library and information science 14 Z
Qualitative research in information management 14 Z
Information seeking in electronic environments 12 QA
Content analysis: an introduction to its methodology 11 P
Qualitative data analysis: an expanded sourcebook 11 H
The practice of social research 11 H

Table 9 Top serials by number of dissertations in which they are cited

Source title Number of dissertations in which LC
the source is cited class

Journal of the American Society for Information Science 77 Z

& Technology
The Journal of Documentation 60 Z
Annual Review of Information Science & Technology 58 Z
Information Processing & Management 58 Z
The Library Quarterly 53 Z
Library Trends 44 Z
Library & Information Science Research 39 Z
College & Research Libraries 33 Z
Communications of the ACM 33 QA
Journal of Information Science 32 Z

The results display differences in author rankings, when focused on specific genres.
This has a large impact on individual evaluations and those institutional evaluations that
are comprised of aggregated individuals. The results may demonstrate that certain indi-
viduals favor communication in certain genres. These individuals will be missed if their
favored genre is not included in analysis. Additionally, the impact of ‘‘Renaissance
Scholars’’, who write across all genres, may also be missed in certain single-genre
LC class was used to code the references into discipline. This system proved to be very
useful as an inclusive classification scheme, that is, one that could be applied in a sys-
tematic way across the dominant genres. While the limitations are acknowledged below,
this may be a useful classification system for further examinations of interdisciplinarity. In
addition, the issue of multi-assignations requires future analysis. It may be useful to use
multi-assignation of LC classifications to create a map of science, similar to those done
with JCR data. This could elucidate the structure and relationships of many disciplines that
favor non-serial communication genres.

A call for inclusive indicators of interdisciplinarity 459

Table 10 Top conferences by number of dissertations in which they are cited

Source title Number of dissertations LC class
in which the source
is cited

American Society for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) 52 Z

ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development 24 QA
in Information Retrieval (SIGIR)
Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) 19 QA
ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL) 15 Z
Text Retrieval Conference (TREC) 14 QC
Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS) 12 TA; QA
National Online Meeting 12 QA
ACM Conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia 10 QA
Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 9 HD
Information Seeking in Context (ISIC) 9 Z
International Communication Association Annual Meeting 9 P

The emphasis on certain genres by specific LC classes was shown in two ways: by the
rankings of the most cited LC class by type and by a listing of the favored genres by LC
class. These results may provide evidence of a well-known fact in scholarly communi-
cation: certain disciplines favor certain communicative genres. If those genres are not fully
evaluated in a study of interdisciplinarity, the interdisciplinary impacts of certain fields
may be underestimated or completely omitted.
Lastly, the ‘‘most cited’’ lists were comprised to display an alternative vision of in-
terdisciplinarity, focused on the most cited items, by dissertation unit, rather than the most
cited genres or LC class by total count. This analysis is able to show those single works or
sources that have an impact on the field at a level of granularity that is not possible with
total counts of classes or genres. It is suggested that in a comprehensive evaluation of
interdisciplinarity consider the limitations of the angles of analysis on the final results.


This work provides a descriptive summary from a set of references from a single source. It
is hoped that this work illustrates the need for further research to take into account multiple
types of communicative genres when conducting analyses of interdisciplinarity. However,
this work was limited in several areas, which will need to be addressed in future studies.
One of the major limitations is that this work utilized only a single citing source, although
it examined several cited sources. The citing behavior of dissertations are arguably very
different from other communicative genres, further supporting the idea that multiple types
of citing and cited genres be used for completely accurate citation analysis.
Another limitation was the use of the LC class for assignation of disciplinarity. This
system was used in order to provide a consistent system across all genres, as difficulties in
aggregating across classification systems has been shown to be problematic (Gomez et al.
1996). The largest limitation of the LC class is the place of ‘‘disciplines’’ on various levels
of the system: what we construe as a discipline appears as a heading and as subclasses. For
example, ‘‘Political Science’’ is on a single heading ‘‘J’’; ‘‘Pyschology’’ is subclass BF;

460 C. R. Sugimoto

‘‘Computer Science’’ is embedded within the Mathematics Subclass (QA 75.5–76.95) and
is called ‘‘Electronic computers. Computer science. Computer software.’’ In addition, there
are many LC classes that do not imply disciplinarity, such as subclass AE: Encyclopedias.
Therefore, care must be taken when using a single heading level as a proxy for disci-
plinarity. Solutions may be to use all levels of granularity, to create a disciplinary scheme
from LC, or to aggregate the LC classes into larger categories, such the OCLC Conspectus
Subject Categories.


This work demonstrates the difference in rankings of disciplines and authors, dependent
upon the communicative genre in question. It is argued that future research must take
multiple communicative genres into account when evaluating interdisciplinary influences.
Disciplines are governed by norms, dictating appropriate communicative genres and
specific genres display different citing patterns (in terms of the types of genres they cite).
Therefore, analyses of a single genre will inherently bias disciplines which produce in that
genre and the citing patterns of that genre. Future evaluations of interdisciplinarity must be
aware of these biases and either include multiple citing and cited genres into account or
provide a justification for their absence. In order to accommodate this, future research
should also focus on classification systems that can be applied to multiple genres and the
building of indexes that more adequately facilitate the examination of multiple cited and
citing genres. This work especially applicable to research in interdisciplinarity, but should
also be considered when performing any citation analysis aimed at identifying disciplinary
trends or rankings. This is especially critical for those making policy decision or the
allocation of resources, based on results of interdisciplinary indicators.

Acknowledgments The author would like to thank Alan Porter and Ismael Rafols for conversations on this
topic and Staša Milojević, Russell Duhon, and two anonymous reviewers for comments on earlier drafts of
this manuscript. This work was funded in part by the Thomson Reuters Citation Analysis Research Grant,
awarded through the American Society for Information Science and Technology.


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