LIS Research in Pakistan: An Analysis of Pakistan Library and Information Science Journal 1998-2007

Article excerpt

Introduction

Pakistan has a long history of library research which starts as early as 1916 when Asa Don Dickinson wrote the Punjab Library Primer for library training classes at the University of the Punjab, Lahore (Kaser, 1992). This was the first ever textbook written outside the United States in the field of Library Science. Since then this tradition has continued and LIS professionals have been regularly contributing to library and information science literature. A number of journals and magazines emerged in Pakistan from time to time but could not continue due to variety of problems.

Pakistan Library & Information Science Journal (PLISJ), which was known as Pakistan Library Bulletin (PLB) till 2003, is the only journal in the field of library and information science which has survived despite the hardships of the time and is being continuously published by Library Promotion Bureau since 1968 (Khan & Samdani, 1997). It started as an irregular publication in 1966 but changed to a regular quarterly publication in September 1968 (Haider, 1988). Dr. G. A. Sabzwari was its founding chief editor and he is still performing this work. Mr. M. Adil Usmani also worked as its chief editor (Samdani, 1998). A total of 38 volumes (102 issues) of PLISJ/PLB have been published till December 2007.

PLISJ has played an important role in keeping the library professionals aware of latest national and international issues. It has also helped LIS community in Pakistan and abroad to disseminate their professional ideas and knowledge through their writings. It published special issues on different occasions to emphasize on the topics of current interest for Pakistani librarianship (Usmani, 1995). Articles published in PLISJ portrayed the changing situation of librarianship in Pakistan over the years. It is the major source of information for anyone who wants to know about librarianship in Pakistan during last four decades. Its progress was in line with the professional growth of the country. It faced problems when Pakistani librarianship was at its low pace and it flourished when Pakistani librarianship did well. Therefore, systematic analysis of PLISJ can reveal trends in Pakistani librarianship.

Analysis of PLISJ was considered essential to understand the trends in LIS research in Pakistan. An analysis of the subject covered and authorship characteristics of literature published in Pakistan Library & Information Science Journal during 1998-2007 have been presented in this study. Type of research publications, language of the articles and publication output of PLISJ has also been analyzed.

Literature Review

A review of related literature reveals that a number of authors have presented the results of the analysis of library and information science literature in different countries. For example, Khan & Samdani (1997) analyzed the literature published in Pakistan Library Bulletin (PLB) during 1968-1997. They presented subject review of the literature along with authorship characteristics and analysis of citations. Major areas of interest for the authors of PLB, according to this study, were academic libraries, librarianship, information and computer technology, bibliography and bibliographical control.

Mahmood (1996) presented a statistical and subjective review of the status of Library and Information Services in Pakistan by analyzing journal articles written on Pakistani librarianship in foreign journals. Findings of this study show that the most popular subject among the authors on Pakistani Librarianship in foreign journals was Library and Information Science education. This study also presented various authorship characteristics for the articles included in the analysis.

Kajberg (1996) conducted a content analysis of Danish LIS serial literature to determine the subject focus of the literature from 1957-1986. Analysis of two non-research journals, Bibliotek 70 and Bogens Verden, was conducted. …