The Relationship Between Interdisciplinarity and Journal Impact Factor in the Field of Communication During 1997–2016

Yuner Zhu, King-wa Fu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Some scholars argue that interdisciplinarity is a virtue for scholarship and impact, but others contend that interdisciplinarity undermines the development of core knowledge. This study examines 93 communication journals in the Social Science Citation Index, investigating their patterns of citing and being cited by other disciplines between 1997 and 2016. The analysis reveals that the percentages of issued and received out-field citations have remained stable—at around 60% and 51%, respectively—over the 20 years. Interdisciplinary citations are dominated by a few subjects—especially the founding disciplines of communication—and the social sciences receive four times more citations than the natural sciences. There was a significant decline in the dominance of psychological sciences, the long-lasting closest neighbor of communication. Citing highly interdisciplinary disciplines beyond the social sciences increases the journal citation impact more than citing other fields, while citing the founding disciplines hardly improves this indicator and the role of in-field citation is minimal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273–297
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Communication
Volume69
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019

User-Defined Keywords

  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Citation Analysis
  • Journal Impact Factor
  • Time Series Analysis
  • Recurrent Neural Network

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