Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sleeping Beauty, the forgotten publications

In science, sleeping beauty refers to several papers whose importance isn't recognized in the moment when they are published, however, after several years have an impact in the science world.
According to new analysis of 22 million studies that had been published over more than a century,  it was found that the "sleeping beauty" phenomenon is very common.
"We followed the history of these papers from the moment they were published to the moment they received maximum citations in other papers," said Alessandro Flammini, one of the study's authors and professor of informatics and computing at Indiana University .
Maybe the most famous example of the sleeping beauty is a paper published in 1935 by Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen, wich rested unloved for decades, until it started being citated by other researchers in 1994.
Albert Einstein wrote a paper in 1935 that wasn't widely cited until 1994.
Radicchi and his colleagues established  the term "beauty coefficient", a value based on the number of citations and how long after the publication acquired them.
The most known "sleeping beauty" are listed in the following table.
Top 15 sleeping beauty.
Therefore,if you have published something and it haven't been cited, you still can hope about it being cited in the future. However, Radicchi warns about not to hold out too much hope that all publications with not citations are sleeping beauties."I expect, if you look at a paper that is 10 years old (and not cited) my guess is it will continue to have zero citations forever" said Radicchi.

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