To create a Special
Topic, Thomson Scientific,
in Philadelphia, searches its in-house Essential Science Indicators database for journal articles relevant to
topics of special interest. Topics are selected either on an
algorithmic basis using Thomson Scientific's research front methodology or their
newsworthiness. The Essential Science Indicators database,
created and maintained by the Research Services Group,, includes publication and citation data from all Thomson Scientific-indexed journals, 1996-2006. This database was designed specifically for quantitative analysis of trends and performance in research. For these analyses, publication counts serve as the primary measure of output, or productivity, whereas citation counts to journal articles serve to measure gross influence or impact (citations/paper) of the published research.
Currently, Essential Science Indicators indexes more than 11,500 of the world's most influential
across 22 broad fields of science and social science. Thomson Scientific's coverage represents the most comprehensive cross-disciplinary view of science and social sciences research available. Because Thomson Scientific records all author names and addresses, journal articles and their citation counts can be attributed to all producers, which is essential in obtaining a thorough analysis of research output and impact. Finally, the Thomson Scientific database is unique in recording the references in the articles it indexes: these cited references, and the tabulation of citations, are key in determining research influence.
Thomson Scientific does not use human-supplied, subject-heading categories as indexing or retrieval tags for the journal articles it indexes. The extractions from the Thomson Scientific database typically depend on article title words; author-supplied keywords; author names; journal titles; field codes (represented by one of Thomson Scientific's journal-to-field schemes); year of publication; institutional or departmental addresses; or one or more of these or other data elements captured by Thomson Scientific. For each topic highlighted here, Thomson Scientific provides a description of the search terms and extraction methodology, so the user may gauge the definition of each subject and the scope of representation in the Thomson Scientific analysis.
Note: each individual Special Topic has its own unique methodology. The opening page and the "About" page for the topic provide the specific methodology used to create that Special Topic.
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