Scientometrics have become an essential element in the practice and evaluation of science and research, including both the evaluation of individuals and national assessment exercises. Yet, researchers and practitioners in this field have lacked clear theories to guide their work. As early as 1981, then doctoral student Blaise Cronin published "The need for a theory of citing" —a call to arms for the fledgling scientometric community to produce foundational theories upon which the work of the field could be based. More than three decades later, the time has come to reach out the field again and ask how they have responded to this call. This book compiles the foundational theories that guide informetrics and scholarly communication research. It is a much needed compilation by leading scholars in the field that gathers together the theories that guide our understanding of authorship, citing, and impact.
Cassidy R. Sugimoto, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA.