Scientometric dimensions of cryptographic research

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Research Article

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Information security has been a crucial issue in modern information management; thus cryptographic techniques have become inevitable to safeguard digital information assets as well as to defend the invasion of privacy in a modern information society, and likely to have far-reaching impact on national security policies. This paper demonstrates the intellectual development of cryptographic research based on quantifiable characteristics of scholarly publications over a decade of the present century (2001 to 2010). The study critically examines the publication growth, authorship pattern, collaboration trends, and predominant areas of research in cryptology. A rank list of prolific contributors, productive institutions, and predominant countries has been carried out using the fractional counting method. Strenuous efforts have been made to perform the activity index (performance indicator) of JOC, to determine the degree of collaboration in quantitative terms, to ascertain the collaboration density, as well as to test the empirical validation of Lotka’s law in this scientific specialty. Major findings reveal that the performance of JOC in cryptographic research corresponds precisely to the growth of the world’s publication activity (activity index = 1.1) over a decade of time; single-authored papers count only 25 % and average authorship accounts for 2.4 per paper; an increasing trend of multi-authored publications and a significant degree of collaboration (DC = 0.74) implies that cryptographers prefer to work in a highly collaborative manner; author productivity distribution data partially fits the Lotka’s law, when the value of α (productivity parameter) approximated to 2.35 (instead of 2) and the number of articles does not exceed two. While a large majority of collaborations constituted across the countries (56 %), then adequate amount of inter-country bilateral and multilateral collaboration signifies higher density or greater strength in the research network; most of the potential collaborators emanated from 10 institutions of 5 different countries; however, cryptographic research is dominated by USA and Israel. More interestingly, the vast majority of the top-ranked productive authors are affiliated in USA and Israel; Yehuda Lindell is found to be the most prolific author followed by Rosario Gennaro (USA), Tamir Tassa (Israel), Jonathan Katz (USA), etc.; Anglo-American institutions are more open than their overseas competitors; University of California (six centers) is placed on the top of the productive institutions. The study entails distinct subject clusters (research streams); and author-assigned keyword frequencies revealed that cryptanalysis, discrete logarithm, elliptic curve, block cipher, provable security, cryptography, secure computation, oblivious transfer, public-key encryption, zero-knowledge are more prevalent and active topics of research in cryptology. The implications of empirical results to the field are discussed thoroughly, and further analyses are proposed to visualize this assessment in a better way.

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