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- Sep 2016
The main reason that sociologists of science feel that this perspective has not produced the needed encompassing citation theory, is the variety of behavioural characteristics underlying the citation patterns found in the literature. This is, however, the consequence of the semiotic inversion of the reference into the citation. This inversion is asymmetrical: whereas the references have very different characteristics (both textually and behaviourally), citations are all the same. The citation no longer betrays from what type of reference it was produced. This is why one should expect it to be difficult or even impossible to recreate this variety by citation analysis, unless one re-translates the citation to the reference, that is, as is done in reference analysis. This is also why it is impossible to exclusively link the sign citation to a specific behavioural characteristic with respect to citing.
Key point with some useful pull quotes. It is the assymetry of the reference and citation and the decontextualisation that is at the core of mainly failures to develop useful theory. See also Leydesdorff on explanans vs explanadum