Academic journal article Trames

Bibliometric Analysis of Estonian Folklore Research and Folklore: Electronic Journal of Folklore

Academic journal article Trames

Bibliometric Analysis of Estonian Folklore Research and Folklore: Electronic Journal of Folklore

Article excerpt

1. Background

The research areas in Estonia that are most often considered to have a strong impact on the world based on their citations per publication are molecular biology and genetics (18th in the world on the Essential Science Indicator), environment/ ecology (15th on the ESI), and plant and animal science (12th on the ESI). Overall the level on Estonian research is a small miracle considering Estonia's size and history (Allik 2015). But what is not known is that there is an area of research where Estonia is at world level--and it is an area not visible in either ESI or Journal Citation Reports because it is an area in arts and humanities.

The humanitarian researchers in Estonia are skeptical about bibliometrics and how or if it can display their impact on a local or on a larger scale, and for the most part this is true (Allik 2012). It is no secret that the humanities with their publishing and citation practices are largely different from most of the other research areas in science and for this they are not ideal for bibliometrical comparisons or analysis. The citation tradition in the humanities is not as strong as it is in science. An art historian may not formally cite such works as Guernica or Mona Lisa. A literary critic would not cite Shakespeare every time he mentions Hamlet (Garfield 1980a). The citations to articles are slow to grow and in many subfields of the humanities articles do not even have any great impact (because of the book-oriented nature of the fields) (Stern 1983). Also most of the research done in the humanities are with localized conceptions, meaning that linguistic studies on Estonian or Finnish will be published in Estonian or Finnish for Estonian or Finnish readers and researchers.

But there is still a remarkable amount of documents on arts and humanities in the Web of Science Arts & Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI) and this data is bibliometrically analyzable and actually quite interesting (Ho et al. 2015, Konur 2012).

The following paper tries to answer these questions: How does an Estonian folklore researcher compare with its neighbors and with the whole world? What kind of impact has the Estonian folklore journal The Electronic Journal of Folklore (EJoF) had and how has it changed the area in Estonia?

2. Methodology

To measure, compare and visualize the area of folklore in Estonia, 100 documents published from 2005-2014 and 73 documents published from 2010-2014 indexed in the Web of Science (WoS) Arts & Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI) were analyzed. For comparison with Estonia, Finland was naturally chosen because of its neighboring location and its similar culture to Estonia. Also Latvia, Sweden, the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales in total) and the United States of America were chosen because of their location to Estonia and their history and their role in the area of folklore. The analysis on the journal the Estonian Electronic Journal of Folklore (EJoF) was made by using data from Thomson Reuters Web of Science Core Collection (WoS) Arts & Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI), Journal Citation Report (JCP), Scopus, and SCImago. To compare the impact of EJoF to a Finnish journal FF Communications was chosen since it has published the most cited and important work in folklore (Aarne, Stith 1928). Folk Life--Journal of Ethnological Studies from the United Kingdom, Folklore, the journal for the Folklore Society of England, which is one of the earliest English-language journals in the area of folkloristics, first published in 1879 and the Journal of Folklore Research from the Indiana University in the United States of America were chosen. The analysis was done in InCites (InCites is a customized, web-based research evaluation tool that allows users to analyze institutional productivity and benchmark research output against peers worldwide) during the last week (23-29) of November 2015. …

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