A Bibliometric Analysis of the Impact of Hjort (1914)

Monday, August 18, 2014: 2:50 PM
200A (Centre des congrès de Québec // Québec City Convention Centre)
Howard Browman , Marine Ecosystem Acoustics, Institute of Marine Research, Storebø, Norway
Dag W. Aksnes , Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education
Johan Hjort’s 1914 publication, “Fluctuations in the great fisheries of northern Europe, viewed in the light of biological research”, has been cited at least 1000 times. We used bibliometric methods to analyze the citing articles in order to assess how Hjort’s work has influenced fishery science. Citation context analysis demonstrated that Hjort’s 1914 work is considered a classic, novel and paradigm-setting study. It also demonstrated that Hjort continues to be cited because the hypotheses that he developed are still relevant. Even today, Hjort’s work is cited >50 times per year. This is very unusual for a 100 year old publication. Generally, old publications suffer from the so-called “obliteration by incorporation” phenomenon – a seminal article reporting new theoretical knowledge is not cited because that knowledge is rapidly accepted and adopted by the research community. Interestingly, this phenomenon does not apply to Hjort (1914). This is likely because, although significant progress has been made, the research questions addressed by Hjort, although fundamental to fisheries science, remain unresolved.