Interdisciplinary Patterns of Highly Cited Papers: An Analysis from Disciplinary Perspective

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Previous research indicated that highly cited papers’ interdisciplinary patterns exhibit higher variety, lower balance and lower disparity. This paper challenges those finding, and compares the variety, balance and disparity of all papers published in 2000, categorized into six percentile-rank classes of citation rates. Our results demonstrate that, in most disciplines, highly cited papers exhibit higher variety and disparity than less cited papers, while for balance, different indicators (Gini and Shannon) lead to different results. For instance, the normalized Shannon diversity index shows that highly cited papers in social sciences and humanities have higher balance, but not those in natural sciences and engineering, while the Gini coefficient provides evidence of lower balance for highly cited papers in most specialties of those two domains. On the whole, our analysis demonstrates that highly cited papers generally exhibit higher variety, lower balance, and higher disparity than less cited papers.

This content has been updated on March 3 2021 at 11 h 09 min.