Reclassification of Papers in Multidisciplinary Journals for Creation of Field Baselines

Each year Clarivate Analytics reassigns documents from multidisciplinary journals to their most relevant Web of Science (WoS) subject area. While multidisciplinary journals publish articles on a wide array of topics, individual articles in those journals focus on one area of research. The reclassification process allows these specialized articles to be appropriately compared with articles of similar citation characteristics and topic focus. The rate of reclassification varies widely with journal. For example, for Science, Nature, and PNAS, the average rate of reassignment is much higher--about 95 percent. The benefit of reclassification is that statistics for fields, including author, institution, country/region, journal and paper analysis, more accurately reflect all papers in these fields, including those found in multidisciplinary journals, some of which publish influential, highly cited research reports.

Prior to 2012, reclassification had been limited to a specific list of journals. In 2012, the methodology for reclassification has been updated in the following ways:

The reclassification process

For each paper, we obtain all the cited references, along with the respective WoS subject areas assigned to the journals in which the cited references occur. We then determine which WoS subject area most frequently occurs; the paper is then reclassified to the most frequently occurring category from this distribution.

For example, if the majority of the cited references of a paper published in MULTIDISCIPLINARY SCIENCES are to documents published in NEUROSCIENCE journals, the paper will be assigned to NEUROSCIENCE. Documents will retain the previously assigned categorization under the following circumstances: