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The emergence of a field: a network analysis of research on peer review

Overview of attention for article published in Scientometrics, October 2017
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (87th percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (73rd percentile)

Mentioned by

23 tweeters
2 Facebook pages


11 Dimensions

Readers on

30 Mendeley
2 CiteULike
The emergence of a field: a network analysis of research on peer review
Published in
Scientometrics, October 2017
DOI 10.1007/s11192-017-2522-8
Pubmed ID

Vladimir Batagelj, Anuška Ferligoj, Flaminio Squazzoni


This article provides a quantitative analysis of peer review as an emerging field of research by revealing patterns and connections between authors, fields and journals from 1950 to 2016. By collecting all available sources from Web of Science, we built a dataset that included approximately 23,000 indexed records and reconstructed collaboration and citation networks over time. This allowed us to trace the emergence and evolution of this field of research by identifying relevant authors, publications and journals and revealing important development stages. Results showed that while the term "peer review" itself was relatively unknown before 1970 ("referee" was more frequently used), publications on peer review significantly grew especially after 1990. We found that the field was marked by three development stages: (1) before 1982, in which most influential studies were made by social scientists; (2) from 1983 to 2002, in which research was dominated by biomedical journals, and (3) from 2003 to 2016, in which specialised journals on science studies, such as Scientometrics, gained momentum frequently publishing research on peer review and so becoming the most influential outlets. The evolution of citation networks revealed a body of 47 publications that form the main path of the field, i.e., cited sources in all the most influential publications. They could be viewed as the main corpus of knowledge for any newcomer in the field.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 23 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 30 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 30 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 8 27%
Librarian 4 13%
Professor 4 13%
Researcher 4 13%
Other 3 10%
Other 7 23%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Unspecified 8 27%
Social Sciences 7 23%
Business, Management and Accounting 2 7%
Medicine and Dentistry 2 7%
Computer Science 2 7%
Other 9 30%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 15. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 18 June 2019.
All research outputs
of 13,243,534 outputs
Outputs from Scientometrics
of 1,652 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 273,552 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Scientometrics
of 63 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,243,534 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 92nd percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,652 research outputs from this source. They typically receive more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 9.1. This one has done well, scoring higher than 86% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 273,552 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 87% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 63 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 73% of its contemporaries.