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Journals as constituents of scientific discourse: economic heterodoxy

Wilfred Dolfsma (School of Economics and Business, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands)
Loet Leydesdorff (Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR), University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 26 September 2008




This paper aims to provide a view and analysis of the immediate field of journals that surround a number of key heterodox economics journals.


Using citation data from the Science and Social Science Citation Index, the individual and collective networks of a number of journals in this field are analyzed.


The size and shape of the citation networks of journals can differ substantially, even if in a broadly similar category. Heterodox economics cannot (yet) be considered as an integrated specialty: authors in several journals in heterodox economics cite more from mainstream economics than from other heterodox journals. There are also strong links with other disciplinary fields such as geography, development studies, women studies, etc.

Research limitations/implications

The analysis is limited by its reliance on citation data in the Science and Social Science Citation Indexes provided by Thomson‐Reuters.

Practical implications

The analysis shows not only whence journals draw their strengths, but also how knowledge between journals and neighboring sub‐fields is diffused. This can be important for editors, authors, and others.


A network analysis not just focusing on a single journal as a focal point, but combining several journals in a single analysis enables one to visualize structural properties of the field of heterodox economics which otherwise remain latent. This study provides a structural approach to citation analysis as a tool for the study of scientific specialties.



Dolfsma, W. and Leydesdorff, L. (2008), "Journals as constituents of scientific discourse: economic heterodoxy", On the Horizon, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 214-225.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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