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4.2 The language of publication

English language publications dominate the citation indices. In a recent study, Mongeon and Paul-Hus (2016) show that journals in other languages are under-represented across the four major areas of research — Natural Sciences and Engineering, Bio-Medical Research, Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities — corroborating earlier research (Nederhoff 2006; Archambault et al. 2006; 2009). We can assume, therefore, that archaeological research outputs written in languages other than English are under-represented as inputs to this study. The exact effect of this bias in language coverage on the dataset used here is difficult to specify: there is no existing list of the full range of publications in archaeology that might be used for comparison. We can suggest that partial language coverage will result in the omission of a significant number of regional and site-specific publications that are more likely to be published in their local language.

Additionally, the nature of the script has a major impact on what might be extracted. Neither WoS nor Scopus extract data on documents where the citation index data exists only in non-Roman/Latin scripts. This excludes works published in character-based scripts (i.e. Chinese, Japanese, Korean), Arabic script or Cyrillic scripts (Greek, Russian). However, a few of these other script sources are included in the maps presented here and it is likely that these sources have been identified owing to their use of Latin script transliterations of article titles, source names or author names for inclusion in the citation indices. As a general rule, however, research outputs published in these other scripts, archaeological or otherwise, are rarely visible in research domain mapping exercises (cf. Goldstone and Leydesdorff 2006; Dofsma and Leydesdorff 2010; Yuan et al. 2014).


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