Depth and Breadth of Research Area Coverage and Its Impact on Publication Citation: An Analysis of Bibliometric Papers


Author(s): Hongjun Li*

Many other factors affecting citation of publications, except for research area coverage, have been studied. This study aims to investigate impact of research area coverage. Bibliometric papers and their related papers (referred papers, citing papers and first author’s papers) were screen and matched by Python program. Papers’ research areas were classified according to Web of Science. Bibliometric parameters of the most cited 5% and the least cited 5% papers were compared. Firstly, coverage of related papers’ research areas impacts the citation of their original papers. The impact of references and citing papers are positive and negative, separately, while the first author’s papers have no influence. Secondly, high-influence papers tend to cite references from a wider area and are cited by followers from a wider area. Additionally, the pattern of knowledge flow differs significantly between high- and low-influence papers. Low- influence papers narrow knowledge flow, whereas high-influence papers broaden it. This study has shown that both depth and breadth of research area coverage can influence citations. It is recommended that authors should extensively cite high-influence publications, both within and beyond their own area.

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