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On the challenges ahead of spatial scientometrics focusing on the city level

György Csomós (Department of Civil Engineering, University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary)

Aslib Journal of Information Management

ISSN: 2050-3806

Article publication date: 2 December 2019

Issue publication date: 8 January 2020

Abstract

Purpose

Spatial bibliometrics and scientometrics have traditionally focused on examining both country and regional levels; however, in recent years, numerous spatial analyses on the city level have been carried out. While city-level scientometric analyses have gained popularity among policymakers and statistical/economic research organizations, researchers in the field of bibliometrics are divided regarding whether it is possible to observe the spatial unit “city” through bibliometric and scientometric tools. The purpose of this paper is to reveal the most significant challenges ahead of spatial scientometrics focusing on the city level by examining relevant scientometric studies.

Design/methodology/approach

This analysis involves the most significant spatial scientometric studies focusing on the city level and carefully examines how they collect bibliometric and/or scientometric data, what methodologies they employ to process bibliometric data and most importantly, how they approach the spatial unit “city”.

Findings

After systematically scrutinizing relevant studies in the field, three major problems have been identified: there is no standardized method of how cities should be defined and how metropolitan areas should be delineated; there is no standardized method of how bibliometric and scientometric data on the city level should be collected and processed; and it is not clearly defined how cities can profit from the results of bibliometric and scientometric analysis focusing on them.

Originality/value

This is the first study that compiles a “database” of scientometric studies focusing on the city level. The paper not only reveals major challenges ahead of city level spatial analysis but recommends some possible solution as well.

Keywords

Citation

Csomós, G. (2020), "On the challenges ahead of spatial scientometrics focusing on the city level", Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. 72 No. 1, pp. 67-87. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJIM-06-2019-0152

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited