Library Philosophy and Practice 2011
Library Philosophy and Practice, 2004-2009: A Scientometric Appraisal
Dillip K Swain
Bibliometric study on single journal is a promising area of research in the field of Library and Information Science. In this type of study data is collected from a single journal covering a particular period and vividly analyzed from different directions to find out authorship pattern, bibliographical forms of citations, chronological distributions of citations and publication half life, core authors, core journals, and journal impact factor. The findings from such studies provide some interesting and useful facts to researchers, authors, and editors regarding various crucial aspects of scholarly communication of the source journal. The present study selects Library Philosophy and Practice (LPP) as the source journal. LPP is a reputed peer reviewed international electronic journal that publishes original research articles in the field of Library and Information Science. As per its editorial objectives, it primarily includes, in its scope, explorations of current, past and emerging theories of librarianship and library practice, as well as reports of successful, innovative, or experimental library procedures, methods, or projects in all areas of librarianship. The contents of this journal are indexed in Library Information Science & Technology Abstracts (LISTA), DOAJ, Library Literature & Information Science, and Scopus. This study attempts to evaluate various unexplored facets of the publishing trends of LPP in the course of its publication phase from 2004 to 2009.
The present study intends to measure the publication pattern of Library Philosophy and Practice devoted to the field of Library and Information Science by collection of citations appended to the articles published during last six years ranging from 2004 to 2009.The main objectives of the study are:
To study the year wise distribution of articles and citations;
The study analyzes the growth and development of publication output of LPP from 2004 to 2009. Keeping the objectives of the study in mind, a total number of 4274 citations from 266 articles published during the said period were collected from the open access source journal. All citations were arranged and rearranged in order of conducting studies on distribution of bibliographical forms of citations, chronological distribution of citations, ranking of journals, and ranking of authors. For the sake of convenience, only major forms of citations comprising of journals, books, web resources, proceedings (conference/seminars/workshops), reports, and theses were taken into the purview of the study while, notes, lectures, speeches, press releases, white papers, employment gazettes, interviews, commentary, news items and such other materials which were found relatively less by their individual numbers were clubbed up into others category. Furthermore, web resources were differentiated from electronic journals. Certain notes and incomplete citations that posed ambiguity were eliminated from the scope of the study. The gathered data after due scrutiny, were tabulated and processed for analysis and subsequent interpretation. The study employed required bibliometric measures.
Review of Literature
Tiew (1997) conducted a survey on single journal bibliometric studies and reported 102 papers published on the topic all across the world by the year 1997. Zainab, Ani, and Anuar (2009) revealed that, there are an estimated total number of about 189 single journal studies reported in published literature. Contextually, some of the recent studies on this area of research have been reviewed. In the aforesaid direction Mote and Deshmukh (1996) in their study on Annals of Library Science and Documentation found that journals are most cited form of communication amongst the library and information scientists and the source journal is the most cited publication. Shokeen and Kaushik (2004) in their study on Indian Journal of Plant Physiology found that journal articles are predominant with 81% of total citations. The ratio of author self citation to total citations is 1:16.65. The ratio of Journal Self Citation to total citation is 1:31.91. The results also highlight that 398 citations are below 10 years old, whereas 358 citations are below 20 years but more than 10 years old. Jena (2006) in his study on Indian Journal of Fibre and Textile Research, 1996 – 2004' revealed various details of the trend of publications of this journal. Biswas, Roy, and Sen conducted a bibliometric study on Economic Botany from 1994-2003 and revealed that among the citations, books accounted for 59%, and articles 41% and e-citations were quite negligible. Furthermore, they found that the highest numbers of contributions were emanated from academic institutions such as universities. Zao, et al. (2007)in their study on Educational Psychology identified six clusters of journals, including general educational psychology/learning/literacy, school psychology, measurement and counseling, Germany-based educational psychology, creativity, and the other related themes. Furthermore, the study revealed that a small number of journals accounted for a relatively high percentage of the intra-disciplinary citations; the majority of the selected journals cited more than being cited in the field. Turk (2008) indicated that there is quite a uniform way about methodology of citation counts and substantial research about motivation for URL citations to LIS articles. Willet (2008) found that many of the most cited papers in the Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling describe software packages that play a key role in modern chemoinformatics research. Zainab, Ani and Anur (2009) in their bibliometric study on Malayasian Journal of Computer Science evaluated the article productivity of the journal from 1985 to 2007 using Lotka's Law. The study further revealed authorship, co-authorship pattern by degree of authors' collaboration that ranged from 0.25 to 0.95, and journal impact factor of MJCS. Asha and Anil (2010) under took a bibliometric study of 4798 citations appended to 400 articles in five volumes (2003-2007) of the Indian Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics and found that the most cited documents are articles from research journals and the foreign authors have contributed more than Indian authors. However, the present study may further supplement some more interesting findings to the existing literature.
Table 1 shows the year wise distribution of articles and corresponding citations. It is found that the publication of articles in LPP has witnessed an increasing trend from 2004(11 articles) to 2009(82 articles). The lesser number of articles were published from 2004 to 2006, because of the fact that up to 2006 LPP was published only two times in a year. From 2007 onwards, LPP changed its publication policy and published articles on monthly basis that were subsequently compiled in annual volumes. Therefore, there is a steady increase in number of citations from 2004(163 citations) to 2009(1483 citations) giving rise to a total of 4274 citations. Interestingly, 12(4.52%) articles out of total 266 articles have been produced without any citations appended to such articles. It is evident that, LPP has given due consideration to some of the creative talents and veterans of the field.
Table 1 Distribution of articles and citations by year
Table 2 reflects that the highest numbers of articles (157, 59.02%) are found to be single authored contributions followed by two-authored (81, 30.45% articles), and three-authored (23, 8.65% articles) contributions. However, more than three-authored contributions are found quite less and hence negligible. Therefore, it is deduced that the publication output of LPP is dominated by single authors throughout the publication phase of 2004 to 2009. Year wise break up of the authorship pattern is depicted in Table 3 for a view.
Table 2 Authorship Pattern
Table 3 shows that the highest percentage of contributions from single authors, with respect to other types of authorship, was recorded in the year 2005(14, 77.8% articles) and the lowest was in 2007(25, 48.08% articles). Correspondingly, the highest percentage of two-authored contributions was noticed in 2004(4, 36.4% articles) and the lowest in the year 2005(3, 16.7% articles). Similarly, maximum percentage of three-authored (9, 13.24% articles) contributions was reported in the year 2008 while, there was no three-authored contributions for the year 2004. However, contributions from more than three authors was only observed in the year 2007(2, 3.85% articles) and 2009(3, 3.66% articles).
Table 3 Authorship Pattern (year wise)
Degree of Authors' Collaboration
The degree of collaboration among authors who were published in LPP is depicted in Table 4. It was calculated using Subramayam's (1983) formula(C=Nm/ (Nm+Ns), where C=Degree of collaboration, Nm= number of multi authored works, Ns=number of single authored work. It is observed that the degree of collaboration ranged from 0.222 to 0.52 in Library Philosophy and Practice from 2004 to 2009. Ramesh and Nagaraju (2002) found that the degree of collaboration in International Journal of Tropical Geography varied from 0.85 to 0.94. Correspondingly, Zainab, Ani, and Anuar (2009) found that the degree of collaboration in Malayasian Journal of Computer Science varied from 0.25 to 0.95. However, the calculated value for the degree of collaboration in this study indicates that, LPP has accommodated more number of single authored contributions than collaborative ones.
Table 4 Degree of Authors' Collaboration
Authorship Productivity Pattern
A total of 337 authors contributed 266 articles published in LPP during 2004 to 2009. The article productivity of authors is depicted in Table 5, which indicates that 284(84.27%) authors contributed just one article. Only 44(13.06%) authors produced two articles, 4 authors three articles, and 5 authors just produced more than three articles between 2004 and 2009. To what extent author productivity confirms Lotka's Law (cited in Rolands, 2005; Singh et al., 2006; Zainab et al, 2009) is being tested in this study. Lotka's Law describes the frequency of publication by authors in a given field by using the formula yx=c/xn where y is the number of authors credited with x (1, 2, 3…) papers, c is the number of authors contributing one paper, and n is a rate (usually n=2).Application of Lotka's Law has yielded the following result depicted in Table 5
Table 5 Authorship productivity pattern
It is evident from Table 5 that the observed percentages with one article is higher, and with two or more articles are lower than the expected percentages which indicates that more authors contributed just one article, where as a few authors contributed two or more than two articles. Therefore, it is evident that Lotka's Law is not applicable in this case since there is a wide difference between observed and expected authors. However, author productivity pattern of LPP partially complies with Lotka's Law at a slightly greater n value (say, n=2.54).
Distribution of Citations by Bibliographical Forms
LPP authors were found to use varied resources for their research (Table 6). Journal articles were found to be the most frequently cited materials contributing 1697(39.71%) citations followed by books (1181, 27.63%citations), and web resources (791, 18.51% citations). Concurrently, use of conference proceedings (198, 4.63% citations), reports (69, 1.61% citations), and theses (71, 1.66% citations) were found relatively less.
Table 6 Bibliographical forms of citations
Year wise analysis of citations (Table 7) reveals that journals received most citations (649, 44%) in the year 2009 while, the lowest recorded citations (181, 31%) was found in the year 2006. similarly, authors cited most number of books in 2005(81, 33% citations)and the lowest (364,25%) in the year 2009. At the same time, web resources were cited most (48, 29.4%) in the year 2004 and the lowest number of citations (119, 12.3%) was reported in the year 2008. On the whole, journal articles accounted for two fifth of citations; books, nearly one-third; and web resources, nearly one-fifth out of total of 4274 citations
Table 7. Yearwise distribution of bibliographical forms of citations
Countrywise Distribution of Contributors
Table 8 reveals that the articles have emanated from 15 countries. The geographical distribution of articles was decided basing upon the address of authors' affiliations. The analysis shows that the highest numbers of contributors belong to Nigeria (140 contributors), followed by USA (128 contributors), India (77 contributions), and Iran (23 contributions) during 2004 to 2009. It is further reflected that the top four countries have altogether contributed more than nine-tenths of articles. The rest of the contributions are from Pakistan, Greece, Bangladesh, Turkey, Botswana, Malaysia, Australia, Italy, West Indies, Ireland, and Ghana.
Table 8 Countrywise distribution of contributors
Ranking of Contributors
There are a total of 284 authors who contributed articles to LPP during 2004 to 2009. Table 10 reveals that Akobundu Dike Ugah of Nigeria is the most leading contributor (7 articles), followed by Robert Flatley of USA (5 articles); John Buschman, USA; Khalid Mahmood, Pakistan; Henry Itohowo Okon, Nigeria (4 articles each). However, 4th rank is shared by Monday Obaidjevwe Ogbomo, Nigeria; Adeyinka Tella, Botswana, Dariush Alimohammadi, Iran; and Preeti Mahajan of India (3 articles each).
Table 10 Ranking of contributors
Subjectwise Distribution of Cited Journals
It is evident from Table 11 that more than half of the cited journals are from Library Science followed by Education (11.20%), Medical Sciences, Sociology (6.35% each), Psychology (4.68%), and Computer Science (4.52%) and allied social science journals like, Management, Law, Economics, etc. It provides a very solid impression that authors have principally cited journals of their own field along with allied journals. By this way LPP justifies its editorial stance by focusing its publication activities in all areas of librarianship connected with applied research.
Table 11 Subjectwise distribution of cited journals
Age of Citations and Publication Half-Life
The analysis of the age of citations helps to determine the useful life of information resources used in any field of knowledge. It is also used by academic librarians to maintain or discard monographs or serials in the library which would be no longer needed by researchers (Zainab, Ani, and Anuar, 2009). Table 12 depicts the age distribution of books and journals. It is found that authors' citation of books ranged from very recent year of publication to books of 104 years old. One author in 2009 cited a book entitled, "The subject matter of sociology" written by A. W. Small, published in the year 1905. It is observed that there is an increasing trend of citation from 1 year of publication of books to 7 years old. Again there is an up and down trend of citation of books from 8 years to 15 years. However, the 9th year was accounted for the highest citations and the estimated half life is found to be 11years.
Table 12 Age distribution of cited books
In the case of journal citations (Table 13), the citation trend was found to be inconsistent throughout the recorded reversed chronological order of citations. It is observed that authors have mostly preferred to cite recent articles and more particularly, the journals of two years old received most number of citations. Interestingly, one author has cited a journal of 117 years old namely, Harvard Law Review.However, the estimated half life in this case is found to be 7 years. Therefore, it is evident that authors prefer to cite more recent journals than books may be due to the fact that books are circulated late but keep conveying concrete thought contents for a longer period of time compared to that of journals.
Table 13 Age distribution of cited journals
Application of Bradford's Law of Scattering
The spread of articles in journals cited in LPP followed the pattern predicted by Bradford's Law of Scattering indicating three productive zones (Bradford, 1985) where the number of journals published increased from one zone to the next according to the expression 1: n: n2: n3…'
Taking the law into the context of the present study, the total 1697 journal citations were divided into three equal zones having approximately 566 citations in each. It is understood from the citation trend of journals (Table 14) that the first zone contained 25 journals which is the nuclear zone and journals falling in this zone are called core journals. The second quantum of 566 citations forming the second zone are contained in approximately in next 100 journals, which is the first peripheral zone around the nucleus and journals falling in this zone are known as allied journals. The third or last quantum of 566 citations forming the third zone are contained in next 473 journals, which is second peripheral zone around the first peripheral zone and journals falling in this zone are known as alien journals.
The ratio of number of journals in these three zones is 25: 100: 473. This distribution moderately confirms to Bradford's Law. Bradford distribution of journals is depicted in Fig-1. The summary of division of zones are as;
Zone 1: Top 25 journals that produced 577(34 %) citations
Zone 2: Next 100 journals that produced 567(33%) citations
Zone 3: Next 473 journals that produced 553(32.59%) citations
Table 14 Citation trend of journals
Ranking of Journals
Table 15 provides a list of ranked journals (top 20) that were cited in LPP in their decreasing order of citations. It is found that Journal of Academic Librarianship leads the table with a record number of 56 citations, followed by College & Research Libraries (53 citations), and Library Trends (38 citations). In tandem, Library Philosophy and practice which is the source journal takes fourth position (34 citations). This finding is little different from Mote and Deshmukh (1996) where they found that the source journal is the most cited publication. However, the analysis of this study indicates that authors have fairly used LPP articles as supporting literature in their work. Journals up to 16th rank are identified as the core journals in the Bradford's prescribed zone 1 which have been most frequently referred by LPP authors in their research papers.
Table 14 Ranking of Journals
Summary of findings is as follows:
1. The study reveals that the publication of articles in LPP has witnessed an increasing trend from 2004 to 2009.
2. The analysis reflects that the highest numbers of articles are found to be single authored contributions, followed by two-authored and three-authored contributions. However, more than three-authored contributions are found quite less and hence negligible.
3. It is observed that the degree of collaboration in Library Philosophy and Practice ranged from 0.222 to 0.52.
4. Author productivity pattern of LPP partially complies with Lotka's Law at a slightly greater n value (n=2.54).
5. Journal articles were found to be the most frequently cited materials followed by books, and web resources.
6. The analysis shows that the highest numbers of contributors belong to Nigeria, followed by USA, India, and Iran during 2004 to 2009.
7. It is evident that more than half of the cited journals are from Library Science followed by Education, Medical Sciences, Sociology, Psychology, Computer Science, Management, Law, Biology, and Economics.
8. The estimated half life of books is found to be 11years and journals 7 years.
9. The distribution of journal citations moderately confirms to Bradford's Law.
10. The top five cited journals are found to be Journal of Academic Librarianship, College & Research Libraries, Library Trends, Library Philosophy and practice, and Library Journal.
Bibliometric study of a single journal provides a portrait of the concerned journal by indicating the quality, maturity and productivity of the journal. It informs about the research orientation that the journal supports to disseminate and its influence on author's choice as a channel to communicate or retrieve information for their research needs (Zainab, et al, 2009).In this respect, LPP from 2004 to 2009 was tested with requisite bibliometric measures. The findings obtained from the study of authorship pattern, authors' degree of collaboration, authorship productivity pattern, ranking of journals indicate that the journal has created its own class as an epitome of social science research and has achieved a definite standard by setting an ideal editorial policy of its own. Moreover, the study reflects that, this journal is proved to be one of the most leading open access electronic journals in the field of Library and Information Science by displaying record number of citations of most leading journals with high impact factor. Moreover, LPP is presumed to be banking on in the field with exciting research prospects in all areas of librarianship. There has been a constant increase in rate of publication of articles since the year 2004 to 2009 that symbolizes the healthy trend of its publication pattern and the global demand for this journal. It is gaining more popularity day by day through its wide ranging global readership due to its open access characteristics. However, the contributions to LPP are still limited within 15 countries. It is hoped that LPP will solicit more scholarly contributions from more number of countries in the days ahead.
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