Prof. Jacques Wainer and I had our paper “What happens to computer science research after it is published ? Tracking CS research lines” issued for early view on the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (JASIST) (DOI: doi/10.1002/asi.22818). The last preprint, before the publishers’ corrections, is also available in my publications page. Here’s the abstract :
Are computer science papers extended after they are published ? We have surveyed 200 computer science publications, 100 journal articles, and 100 conference papers, using self-citations to identify potential and actual continuations. We are interested in determining the proportion of papers that do indeed continue, how and when the continuation takes place, and whether any distinctions are found between the journal and conference populations. Despite the implicit assumption of a research line behind each paper, manifest in the ubiquitous “future research” notes that close many of them, we find that more than 70% of the papers are never continued.
In this paper we try to shed light on that “early stopping” phenomenon. Why so many CS papers stay on the “first idea” phase ? Does this interact with the atypical value that CS attributes to conferences ? Is there a correlation (positive or negative) between any “quality” metric of the work and the probability of a continuation popping up ?
My colleague and friend Jacques is a specialist on Scientometrics, and social networks of cooperating scientists, whom he analyses through webs of publications, co-publications, citations and co-citations. We have spent about an year discussing the best statistical tools to tackle such complex phenomena, and then trying to translate the results back into “social” meaningful conclusions. I’ll let you judge how much we have succeeded on the latter effort.