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Distinguishing Knowledge Impact from Citation Impact: A Methodology for Analysing Knowledge Impact for the Literature Review Genre

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Document pages: 46 pages

Abstract: The scientific impact of research papers is multi-dimensional and can be determined quantitatively by means of citation analysis and qualitatively by means of content analysis. Accounting for the widely acknowledged limitations of pure citation analysis, we adopt a knowledge-based perspective on scientific impact to develop a methodology for content-based citation analysis which allows determining how papers have enabled knowledge development in subsequent research (knowledge impact). As knowledge development differs between research genres, we develop a new knowledge-based citation analysis methodology for the genre of standalone literature reviews (LRs). We apply the suggested methodology to the IS business value domain by manually coding 22 LRs and 1,228 citing papers (CPs) and show that the results challenge the assumption that citations indicate knowledge impact. We derive implications for distinguishing knowledge impact from citation impact in the LR genre. Finally, we develop recommendations for authors of LRs, scientific evaluation committees and editorial boards of journals how to apply and benefit from the suggested methodology, and we discuss its efficiency and automatization.

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