A Scientometric Method to Analyze Scientific Journals as Exemplified by the Area of Information Science

Boell, Sebastian K. A Scientometric Method to Analyze Scientific Journals as Exemplified by the Area of Information Science., 2007 Master Thesis thesis, Saarbrücken : Saarland University. [Thesis]


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English abstract

Background. In most academic disciplines journals play an important role in disseminating findings of research among the disciplinary community members. Understanding a discipline's body of journals is therefore of grave importance when looking for previous research, compiling an overview of previous research and and in order to make a decision regarding the best place for publishing research results. Furthermore, based on Bradford's Law of scattering, one can assume that in order to be able to compile a satisfying overview of previous research a wide range of journals has to be scanned, but also that there are some 'core' journals which are of more importance to specific disciplines than others. Aim. This thesis aims to compile a comprehensive master list of journals which publish articles of relevance to Library and Information Science (LIS). A method to rank journals by their importance is introduced and some key characteristics of the disciplines body of journals are discussed. Databases indexing the disciplines journals are also compared. Method. The master list of LIS journals was created by combining the journal listings of secondary sources indexing the field's literature. These sources were six databases focusing on LIS literature: INFODATA, Current Contents, Library and Information Science Abstracts, Library Information Science Technology Abstracts, Information Science and Technology Abstracts, and Library Literature and Information Science, the LIS subsection in three databases with a general focus: Social Science Citation Index, Academic Search Premier, and Expanded Academic ASAP, and the listing of LIS journals from the Elektronische Zeitschriften Bibliothek. Problems related to editorial policies and technical shortcomings are discussed, before comparing: predominant publication languages, places of publication, open access, peer review, and the ISI Journal Impact Factors (JIF). Journals were also ranked by the number of occurrences in multiple databases in order to identify 'core' publications. The number of journals overlapping between databases are estimated and a matrix giving the overlap is visualized using multi dimensional scaling. Lastly, the degree of journals overlapping with other disciplines is measured. Results. A comprehensive master list of 1,205 journals publishing articles of relevance to LIS was compiled. The 968 active journals are mostly published in English, with one third of the journals coming from the US and another third from the UK and Germany. Nearly 16% of all journals are open access, 11% have a ISIJIF, and 42% are peer reviewed. Fifteen core journal could be identified and a list of the top fourteen journals published in Germany is introduced. Databases have between five to 318 journals in common and the journal collection shows an substantial overlap with a wide range of subjects, with the biggest journal overlap with Computing Studies, and Business and Economics. Conclusion. The aim of compiling a comprehensive list of LIS journal was achieved. The list will contribute to our understanding of scholarly communication within the LIS discipline and provide academics and practitioners with a better understanding of journals within the discipline. The ranking approach proved to be sufficient, showing good similarity with other studies over the last 40 years. The master list of LIS journals has also potential use to further research.

Item type: Thesis (UNSPECIFIED)
Keywords: Journal Coverage Overlap, Serials, Abstracting and Indexing, A&I, INFODATA, LISA, LLIS, LISTA, ISTA, EZB, ASAP, ASP, SSCI, Bradford, Lotka, Zipf
Subjects: A. Theoretical and general aspects of libraries and information. > AA. Library and information science as a field.
I. Information treatment for information services
B. Information use and sociology of information > BB. Bibliometric methods
Depositing user: Sebastian K Boell
Date deposited: 23 Jan 2009
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 11:56
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10760/3949


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