[Humanist] 32.50 tracking discursive influence

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Mon May 28 07:55:12 CEST 2018

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 32, No. 50.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Mon, 28 May 2018 06:19:45 +0100
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: tracking discursive influence

Many here, I suspect, will be glad to know about the following:

Aaron Gerow, Yuening Hu, Jordan Boyd-Graber, David M. Blei, and James A. 
Evans, "Measuring discursive influence across scholarship". Proceedings 
of the National Academy of Sciences (U.S.), March 27, 2018. 115 (13) 
3308-3313. http://www.pnas.org/content/115/13/3308

> Abstract.
> Assessing scholarly influence is critical for understanding the
> collective system of scholarship and the history of academic inquiry.
> Influence is multifaceted, and citations reveal only part of it.
> Citation counts exhibit preferential attachment and follow a rigid
> "news cycle" that can miss sustained and indirect forms of influence.
> Building on dynamic topic models that track distributional shifts in
> discourse over time, we introduce a variant that incorporates
> features, such as authorship, affiliation, and publication venue, to
> assess how these contexts interact with content to shape future
> scholarship. We perform in-depth analyses on collections of physics
> research (500,000 abstracts; 102 years) and scholarship generally
> (JSTOR repository: 2 million full-text articles; 130 years). Our
> measure of document influence helps predict citations and shows how
> outcomes, such as winning a Nobel Prize or affiliation with a highly
> ranked institution, boost influence. Analysis of citations alongside
> discursive influence reveals that citations tend to credit authors
> who persist in their fields over time and discount credit for works
> that are influential over many topics or are "ahead of their time."
> In this way, our measures provide a way to acknowledge diverse
> contributions that take longer and travel farther to achieve
> scholarly appreciation, enabling us to correct citation biases and
> enhance sensitivity to the full spectrum of scholarly impact.


Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor emeritus, Department of
Digital Humanities, King's College London; Adjunct Professor, Western
Sydney University; Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews

More information about the Humanist mailing list