Nano language and distribution of article title terms according to power laws

  • Bartol T
  • Stopar K
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Scientometric evaluation of nanoscience/nanotechnology requires complex
search strategies and lengthy queries which retrieve massive amount of
information. In order to offer some insight based on the most frequently
occurring terms our research focused on a limited amount of data,
collected on uniform principles. The prefix nano comes about in many
different compound words thus offering a possibility for such
assessment. The aim is to identify the scatter of nanoconcepts, among
and within journals, as well as more generally, in the Web of Science
(WOS). Ten principal journals were identified along with all unique
nanoterms in article titles. Such terms occur on average in half of all
titles. Terms were thoroughly investigated and mapped by lemmatization
or stemming to the appropriate roots-nanoconcepts. The scatter of
concepts follows the characteristics of power laws, especially Zipf's
law, exhibiting clear inversely proportional relationship between rank
and frequency. The same three nanoconcepts are most frequently occurring
in as many as seven journals. Two concepts occupy the first and the
second rank in six journals. The same six concepts are the most
frequently occurring in ten journals as well as full WOS database,
representing almost two thirds of all nanotitled articles, in both
instances. Subject categories don't play a decisive role. Frequency
falls progressively, quickly producing a long tail of rare concepts.
Drop is almost linear on the log scale. The existence of hundreds of
different closed-form compound nanoterms has consequences for the
retrieval on the Internet search engines (e.g. Google Scholar) which do
not permit truncation.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Bibliometrics
  • Compound words
  • Lexical analysis
  • Nanoscience
  • Power laws
  • Search strategy
  • Subject categories
  • Terminology

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  • Tomaz Bartol

  • Karmen Stopar

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