Classifying Sleeping Beauties and Princes Using Citation Rarity


The scientific community sometimes resists important sci- entific findings initially. This is the so-called “delayed recognition.” A “sleeping beauty (SB),” a representative phenomenon of delayed recog- nition, is a paper reported by a Prince (PR) paper. The SB includes many key breakthrough concepts for resolving scientific problems. Al- though many PRs discover their SBs, it is still unknown how they do that because the citation culture differs depending on the category of the paper. This study classifies SBs and their PR pairs using citation rarity within clusters that represent a unique category of a paper. Re- sults show that citation rarity corresponds to the types of contributions to PR papers. Rare citations explore methodological insights into PR fields. Meanwhile, common citations can lead to rediscovery of the core concepts of a sleeping beauty. Furthermore, informatics and materials sciences cover major studies that include citations for SBs, whereas bi- ological subjects find key papers through rediscovery. Results indicate that different categories of citations yield different types of SBs.

Keywords: bibliometrics, cross-disciplinary, princes, sleeping beauties