B – The growth rate of scientific publication and the decline in SCI coverage

Larsen PO, von Ins M. The rate of growth in scientific publication and the decline in coverage provided by Science Citation Index. Scientometrics 2010;84(3).575:603
(doi: 10.1007/s11192-010-0202-z)

The growth rate of scientific publication was studied from 1907 to 2007 using available data from a number of literature databases, including Science Citation Index (SCI) and Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI). Traditional scientific literature (publication in peer-reviewed journals) is still increasing although there are big differences between fields. Important changes in publication methods are happening in present years including open access archives, publications on the net and the increasing role of conference proceedings. But this is only partially reflected in the databases. In particular, the growth rate for SCI is smaller than for comparable databases and its coverage is especially low in some of the scientific areas with the highest growth rate, including computer science and engineering sciences. It is then problematic that SCI is used as the dominant source for science indicators based on publication and citation numbers.