Comparing journal and paper level classifications of science
Article [Accepted Manuscript]
Is part ofJournal of informetrics ; vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 202-225.
The classification of science into disciplines is at the heart of bibliometric analyses. While most classifications systems are implemented at the journal level, their accuracy has been questioned, and paper-level classifications have been considered by many to be more precise. However, few studies investigated the difference between journal and the paper classification systems. This study addresses this gap by comparing the journal- and paper-level classifications for the same set of papers and journals. This isolates the effects of classification precision (i.e., journal- or paper-level) to reveal the extent of paper misclassification. Results show almost half of papers could be misclassified in journal classification systems. Given their importance in the construction and analysis of bibliometric indicators, more attention should be given to the robustness and accuracy of these disciplinary classifications schemes.