Information metrics (<i>iMetrics</i>): a research specialty with a socio-cognitive identity?
“Bibliometrics”, “scientometrics”, “informetrics”, and “webometrics” can all be considered as manifestations of a single research area with similar objectives and methods, which we call “information metrics” or iMetrics . This study explores the cognitive and social distinctness of iMetrics with respect to the general information science (IS), focusing on a core of researchers, shared vocabulary and literature/knowledge base. Our analysis investigates the similarities and differences between four document sets. The document sets are drawn from three core journals for iMetrics research ( Scientometrics , Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology , and Journal of Informetrics ). We split JASIST into document sets containing iMetrics and general IS articles. The volume of publications in this representation of the specialty has increased rapidly during the last decade. A core of researchers that predominantly focus on iMetrics topics can thus be identified. This core group has developed a shared vocabulary as exhibited in high similarity of title words and one that shares a knowledge base. The research front of this field moves faster than the research front of information science in general, bringing it closer to Price’s dream.