SCIENTOMETRIC ANALYSIS AND BIBLIOGRAPHY OF DIGIT RATIO (2D:4D) RESEARCH, 1998-20081, 2

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Abstract

A scientometric analysis of modern research on the second-to-fourth digit ratio (2D:4D), a widely studied putative marker for prenatal androgen action, is presented. In early 2009, this literature totalled more than 300 publications and, since its initiation in 1998, has grown at a rate slightly faster than linear. Key findings included evidence of publication bias and citation bias, incomplete coverage and outdatedness of existing reviews, and a dearth of meta-analyses in this field. 2D:4D research clusters noticeably in terms of researchers, institutions, countries, and journals involved. Although 2D:4D is an anthropometric trait, most of the research has been conducted at psychology departments, not anthropology departments. However, 2D:4D research has not been predominantly published in core and specialized journals of psychology, but rather in more broadly scoped journals of the behavioral sciences, biomedical social sciences, and neurosciences. Total citation numbers of 2D:4D papers for the most part were not larger than their citation counts within 2D:4D research, indicating that until now, only a few 2D:4D studies have attained broader interest outside this specific field. Comparative citation analyses show that 2D:4D research presently is commensurate in size and importance to evolutionary psychological jealousy research, but has grown faster than the latter field. In contrast, it is much smaller and has spread more slowly than research about the Implicit Association Test. Fifteen conjectures about anticipated trends in 2D:4D research are outlined, appendixed by a first-time bibliography of the entirety of the published 2D:4D literature.

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