The Intellectual Property & Science business of Thomson Reuters 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 ScienceSM, the premier scientific search and discovery platform and industry’s authority in science, social science, and arts & humanities citation indexes.
Analysts with 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:
||I.E. Hyman, D.C. Rubin, “Memorabeatlia — A naturalistic study of long-term memory,” Memory & Cognition, 18 (2): 205-14, 1990.
||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.
||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.
||R.J. Kruse, “Imagining Strawberry Fields as a place of pilgrimage,” Area, 35 (2): 154-62, 2003.
||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.
||G. Clydesdale, “Creativity and competition: The Beatles,” Creativity Research Journal, 18 (2): 129-39, 2006.
||J. Platoff, “John Lennon, ‘Revolution,’ and the politics of musical reception,” Journal of Musicology, 22 (2): 241-67, 2005.
||A. Elliott, “Celebrity and political psychology: Remembering Lennon,” Political Psychology, 19 (4): 833-52, 1998.
||S. Daniels, “Suburban pastoral: Strawberry Fields Forever and sixties memory,” Cultural Geographies, 13 (1): 28-54, 2006.
||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.
To view ScienceWatch editor Christopher King’s Huffington Post article about the analysis, click here.
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