This is the second part of a small-scale explorative study in an effort to assess reproducibility issues specific to scientometrics research. This effort is motivated by the desire to generate empirical data to inform debates about reproducibility in scientometrics. Rather than attempt to reproduce studies, we explore how we might assess "in principle" reproducibility based on a critical review of the content of published papers. While the first part of the study (Waltman et al. 2018) focuses on direct reproducibility - that is the ability to reproduce the specific evidence produced by an original study using the same data, methods, and procedures, this second part is dedicated to conceptual reproducibility - that is the robustness of knowledge claims towards verification by an alternative approach using different data, methods and procedures. The study is exploratory: it investigates only a very limited number of publications and serves us to develop instruments for identifying potential reproducibility issues of published studies: These are a categorization of study types and a taxonomy of threats to reproducibility. We work with a select sample of five publications in scientometrics covering a variation of study types of theoretical, methodological, and empirical nature. Based on observations made during our exploratory review, we conclude with open questions on how to approach and assess the status of conceptual reproducibility in scientometrics intended for discussion at the special track on "Reproducibility in Scientometrics" at STI2018 in Leiden.
|Publication status||Published - 13 Apr 2018|