The meaning of citations

Submitted by Blake on Thu, 09/04/2008 - 07:43

Or, "the meaning of citations: what Garfield said he means in a bunch of articles vs. what people say he means and even worse what people do with his work" Christina Pikas:

As for the symbolic nature of citations - this goes to the heart of using citations to map knowledge. What can we say about paper A because it cites B, or about A and C if they both cite B? Citations as indicators that provide a formal representation of science - Wouters Reflexive Citation Theory. But look, we don't know why the citation was useful to the author - maybe the context is, "what an idiot Pikas is, see for example Pikas (2008)." So according to the author, Wouter's theory can't handle that.