In 1965, Price published “Networks of scientific papers,” which used citation data to describe the nature of what he termed “the scientific research front.” Previously, he had used the term “research front” in a generic way, meaning the leading edge of research and including the most knowledgeable scientists working at the coalface. But in this paper, and using the short-lived field of research on N-rays as his example, he described the research front more specifically in terms of its density of publications and time dynamics as revealed by a network of papers arrayed chronologically and their inter-citation patterns. Price observed that a research front builds upon recently published work and that it displays a tight network of relationships.

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