Citations and knowledge claims: sociology of knowledge as a case in point
Citation analysis is frequently used as a means of examining the formal communication practices in a number of disciplines. The present study employs citation analysis to investigate knowledge claims in the literature on the sociology of knowledge. The purpose of this project is to determine if there are epistemic foundations for authors’ citation of previous work. A total of 70 journal articles are examined and the citations in those articles are classified according to the epistemic uses of the cited work. The approach used here is inherently individualistic, with the aim of investigating the relationship between citing and cited works in the sense of contextual, knowledge-based justification for an author’s arguments or propositions.