Citation Analysis in Ute Deichmann's Biologists under Hitler
PURPOSE: To examine Deichmann's use of citation analysis as a tool to conduct historical research. BRIEF DESCRIPTION: In her Biologists under Hitler (Harvard University Press, 1996) Ute Deichmann uses the Science Citation Index (SCI) in an attempt to prove that biologists who emigrated from Nazi Germany were cited more frequently - and therefore produced more influential research - than those who remained in Germany. This approach, in which citation analysis is treated as historical evidence, is thought to offer historians of science a new and intriguing tool to use in their research. The possibilities offered by this approach will be explored. The drawbacks to Deichmann's method will also be discussed. DISCUSSION: Deichmann's thesis, that the SCI can be used to determine the quality of published scientific research produced under repressive political conditions, deserves a careful study. Her use of citation analysis as a form of historical research is exceedingly problematic. But that should not prevent us from a further investigation of this method.