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Exploring an Unknown Territory: “Sleeping Beauties” in the Nursing Research Literature

Published on Jan 1, 2017in Nursing Research2.02
· DOI :10.1097/NNR.0000000000000238
Peter Kokol4
Estimated H-index: 4
,
Helena Blažun Vošner5
Estimated H-index: 5
,
Joeri Vermeulen3
Estimated H-index: 3
Sources
Abstract
Background Sleeping Beauties (SBs) are publications that are scarcely cited in the years immediately following publication but then suddenly become highly cited later. Such publications have unique citation patterns and can reveal important developments in the field in which they appear. Objectives No holistic analysis of nursing SBs has been done yet. The aim of this study was to identify and analyze the SB phenomenon in the nursing research literature. Method The corpus for the nursing SB identification was harvested from the Web of Science Core Collection (Thomas Reuters) for the period 1934–2015. Citation histories of 212,239 publications were screened. From those, 3,209 publications with more than 100 citations were selected for analysis. We used our own software and applied the van Raan (2004) and Baumgartner (2010) criteria for SBs—a 5-year sleeping period with at most 10 citations during that time, an average of at least five citations per year after the first 10 years, with at least 100 citations in total. The knowledge context for SBs was determined using citing papers. All citing papers were analyzed with the help of VOSviewer software. Results Nine publications were identified as SBs (prevalence of 0.004%). The length of sleep duration ranged from 5 to 10 years ( M = 6.8 , SD = 2.0), depth of sleep ranged from 0.2 to 0.8 citations ( M = 0.6, SD = 0.2), and awake intensity ranged from 6.4 to 15.0 citations ( M = 11.0, SD = 3.8). The average number of citations to SBs was 229. Most nursing SBs were produced in the United States ( n = 8) from top institutions in journals with high-impact factors. Nursing SBs covered topics including resilience, sampling in qualitative research, metasynthesis, postoperative pain in children, dementia rating scales, care of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, nursing theory related to fatigue mechanisms in cancer patients, and family participation during resuscitation. Nursing SBs were cited by authors from a large number of institutions and countries; the number of publications citing nursing SBs is growing exponentially and showing increasing and global interest in the research presented in them. Discussion This study demonstrated that SBs in nursing are similar to other scientific disciplines. Existence of SBs suggests that nursing knowledge accumulation is supported by research and professional processes similar to those that emerged in other academic disciplines.
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References39
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#1Anthony F. J. van Raan (LEI: Leiden University)H-Index: 32
A ‘Sleeping Beauty in Science’ is a publication that goes unnoticed (‘sleeps’) for a long time and then, almost suddenly, attracts a lot of attention (‘is awakened by a prince’). The aim of this paper is to present a general methodology to investigate (1) important properties of Sleeping Beauties such as the time-dependent distribution, author characteristics, journals and fields, and (2) the cognitive environment of Sleeping Beauties. We are particularly interested to find out to what extent Sl...
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The way in which scientific publications are picked up by the research community can vary. Some articles become instantly cited, whereas others go unnoticed for some time before they are discovered or rediscovered. Papers with delayed recognition have also been labeled “sleeping beauties.” I briefly discuss an extreme case of a sleeping beauty. Peirce's short note in Science in 1884 shows a remarkable increase in citations since around 2000. The note received less than 1 citation per year in the...
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#1Peter Kokol (University of Maribor)H-Index: 4
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