Thomson Reuters Marks 50 Years of Beatlemania with a Selection of “Fab Four”-Related Scholarly Works

February 13, 2014

Citation analysis reveals significant impact of the Beatles’ rise to stardom on the global scholarly research landscape

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The Intellectual Property & Science business of Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of information for businesses and professionals, celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ rise to worldwide fame with an analysis of a selection of scholarly papers devoted to the band, their music, and their continuing influence, as identified in the Thomson Reuters Web of Science(SM), the premier scientific search and discovery platform and industry’s authority in science, social science, and arts & humanities citation indexes.

Analysts of Thomson Reuters ScienceWatch, an open Web resource for science metrics and research performance evaluation, conducted the search of the Web of Science to identify hundreds of pertinent papers, from which 10 were selected to demonstrate the academic attention the Beatles continue to inspire decades after worldwide Beatlemania first took hold in 1964, the same year the Web of Science originated.

The select papers represent a range of academic disciplines, including those in the social sciences and the arts & humanities. A psychological study, for example, employs Beatles’ song titles and lyrics to investigate aspects of memory and recall in a group of undergraduate students. Other papers consider the Beatles’ work in terms of its lyrical and musical style, as well as examine the nature of the band’s creativity and collaboration, while others assess the Beatles and their place in the political landscape.

Here is the listing of the ten papers selected:

    1       I.E. Hyman, D.C. Rubin, "Memorabeatlia -
             A naturalistic study of long-term
             memory," Memory & Cognition, 18 (2):
            205-14, 1990.
    ---    ----------------------------------------

    2       C. Whissell, "Traditional and emotional
            stylometric analysis of the songs of
            Beatles Paul McCartney and John
            Lennon," Computers and the Humanities,
            30 (3): 257-65, 1996.
    ---    ----------------------------------------

    3       S. Cohen, "More than the Beatles: Popular
            music, tourism and urban regeneration"
            [book chapter],Tourists and Tourism:
            Identifying with People and Places , ed.
            by S. Abram, et al.,) 71-90, 1997.
    ---    -----------------------------------------

    4       R.J. Kruse, "Imagining Strawberry Fields
            as a place of pilgrimage," Area, 35
            (2): 154-62, 2003.
    ---    ----------------------------------------

    5       W. Everett, "Fantastic remembrance in
            Lennon, John 'Strawberry Fields
            Forever' and 'Julia' and voice-leading
            in selected Beatles songs," Musical
            Quarterly, 72 (3): 360-93, 1986.
    ---    --------------------------------------

    6       G. Clydesdale, "Creativity and
            competition: The Beatles," Creativity
            Research Journal, 18 (2): 129-39, 2006.
    ---    ----------------------------------------

    7       J. Platoff, "John Lennon, 'Revolution,'
            and the politics of musical reception,"
            Journal of Musicology, 22 (2): 241-67,
    ---    ----------------------------------------

    8       A. Elliott, "Celebrity and political
            psychology: Remembering Lennon,"
            Political Psychology, 19 (4): 833-52,
    ---    -------------------------------------

    9       S. Daniels, "Suburban pastoral:
            Strawberry Fields Forever and sixties
            memory," Cultural Geographies, 13 (1):
            28-54, 2006.
    ---    --------------------------------------

    10      N. Wagner, "Domestication of the blue
            note in the Beatles' songs," Music
            Theory Spectrum, 25 (2): 353-65, 2003.
    ---    --------------------------------------

“Although large, active, ‘big science’ fields such as biomedicine and high-energy physics tend to command the most attention,” said Gordon Macomber, managing director of Thomson Reuters Scientific and Scholarly Research business, “it’s important to remember that the Web of Science has content in many other areas, including fields within the social sciences and arts & humanities. Studies of the Beatles aptly encapsulate this variety, embracing not only music but psychology, sociology, cultural history, and numerous other subjects.”

For this group of papers, the Web of Science Core Collection and its repository of more than 12,000 journals, as well as content from more than 50,000 books, was searched for publications explicitly mentioning “Beatles” among their topic or title words. From roughly 500 resulting works, 10 were selected for general variety as well as on the basis of their influence as denoted by citations, or how many times each was explicitly footnoted in subsequent works. Such citation data constitute a key metric offered by the Web of Science for gauging the visibility, significance, and interrelationship of scientific and scholarly work.

For a view into the full analysis, visit ScienceWatch.

Thomson Reuters ScienceWatch features data and commentary on the people, places and topics at the forefront of science today, illustrating the power of bibliometrics in providing a prospective view into the research landscape. As a part of the Thomson Reuters research analytics suite of solutions, ScienceWatch highlights the important role research evaluation and management play in supporting strategic decision making. Follow ScienceWatch on Twitter.

Learn more about Web of Science.

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