Using ego-network analyses to examine journal citations: a comparative study of public administration, political science, and business management

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This study demonstrates how social network analysis, specifically ego-network analysis, can be used as a methodology to investigate the degrees of the isolation, insularity, and prestige of academic journals in a particular field in relation to other fields. Using the example of journals in public administration for illustrative purposes, we analyze the network of connections between journals in this field and the ones in two related fields: political science and business/management. Earlier studies found that the research in public administration was largely isolated from the three disciplines that were its foundations: law, management, and political science. Using ego-network analyses and ratio calculations from the Web of Science citation data, we found that the top journals of public administration were indeed relatively isolated in the years 2005, 2010, and 2015. Of the public administration journals, Public Administration Review (PAR) and the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory (JPART) were increasingly more recognized (less isolated and became more prestigious) among the journals in other fields. This methodology can be applied to the journals in other fields to study the relations between fields, particularly the relative academic prestige of the fields, in terms of journal citations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences

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