Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

An Analysis of a Nigerian Library and Information Science Journal: A Bibliometric Study

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

An Analysis of a Nigerian Library and Information Science Journal: A Bibliometric Study

Article excerpt

Introduction

The term bibliometrics was coined by Alan Pritchard in 1969 to describe the application of mathematics and statistical methods to books and other media of communication (Bellis, 2009). Since then, bibliometrics has continued to evolve as what Hoang, Kaur and Menczer (2010) terms computational bibliometrics. Bellis (2009) stated that "bibliometrics is a set of methods to quantitatively analyze scientific and technological literature" (p.147). Citation analysis is one of such methods.

Citation analysis involves the collection of bibliometric data to assess research activities of mankind. These research activities could be in universities, research institutes, corporate bodies, journals and even specific research topics and disciplines. As observed by Hoang, Kaur and Menzcer (2010), data from citation analysis can be used to determine the popularity and impact of specific articles, as well as gauge the importance of an author's work. Citation analysis has been used to quantitatively assess the core journal titles and watershed publications in particular disciplines; interrelationship between authors from different institutions and schools of thought (Sommer, 2005). There is no gainsaying the fact that, citation analysis is increasingly being used to assess the impact of research, and also track and evaluate research findings in journals. According to Ocholla and Ocholla (2007) journals provide a platform on which the research output and impact of individual authors, institutions or countries are measured. This is because journals are veritable sources of scholarly research findings that are of interest to researchers, corporate bodies, librarians, donor agencies, publishers, editors, database producers, information brokers, universities, research institutes, etc.

In Africa, various studies have been conducted in library and information science to evaluate journals using various measurement indicators such as number of articles, characteristic of authors, impact factor, average number of citations, citation age (age-weighted citation rate), cited journal half life, co-citedness, consumption factor, importance index, influence weight, popularity factor and h-index (Ocholla & Ocholla, 2007, Jacobs, 2006, Oyancha, 2008, Tsay, 2006, Oyancha ,2009, Sam, 2008, Okiy, 2003, Aina and Mabawonku, 1997).

In a study of the structure and bibliographic control of the literature of librarianship in Ghana during the period of 1950-2000, Fosu and Alemna (2002) used citation analysis to determine the most popular, format of publications, major subjects covered and the extent of usage of nonlibrary science journals in Ghana library journal. The findings of that study among others indicated that the Ghana library journal contributed immensely to library literature in Ghana. Similarly, drawing its data from Google Scholar, Oyancha (2009), compares the performance of 13 library and information science journals using the following indicators: number of publications, average number of records, number of citations, citations per year, citations per article, citedness and uncitedness of the records published in each journal, h-index and citation impact factor. Results indicate that a number of journals have not published any issue for close to 5 years; some journals have ceased publications and irregular publication of journals. African Journal of Library, Archives and Information Science (AJLAIS) was the most highly cited journal. Aina (2002) investigated the frequency with which the African Journal of Library, Archives and Information Science is consulted by examining the references of articles published therein and in three other Library and Information Science journals. In the same vein, Olalude (2007) conducted a study to ascertain the extent to which librarians and other information professionals in sub- Saharan African countries are sourcing information from the Internet for their academic and professional publications from 2000-2005. …

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