Citation Analysis of Social Science Research: A Case Study of Bachelor Degree Research Project Reports of a Nigerian University 2009-2013

By Iroaganachi, Mercy A.; Iteskor, Victoria O. et al. | Library Philosophy and Practice, January 2014 | Go to article overview

Citation Analysis of Social Science Research: A Case Study of Bachelor Degree Research Project Reports of a Nigerian University 2009-2013


Iroaganachi, Mercy A., Iteskor, Victoria O., Osinulu, Ifeakachuku, Library Philosophy and Practice


Introduction and Background

Citation analysis is an aspect of bibliometrics which deals with evaluation of cited resources in a particular work or group of works. According to Hussain (2011) bibliometric studies have been applied mainly to scientific fields and are based principally on various metadata elements like author, title, subject, citations, etc. related to scholarly publication within a discipline. This type of analysis provides useful indicators of scientific productivity, trends, the emphasis of research in various facets and researchers' preferences for publication (Jacobs, 2001).

Bibliometrics is a quantitative appraisal of publication formats of both macro and micro communication along with their authorship by mathematical and statistical computation (Nkiko and Adetoro 2007). In essence bibliometrics can be used in any subject area, especially problems concerned with written communication. In fact bibliometrics must have emerged out of the awareness that literature is increasing and evolving at a rate that only librarian or information worker who has acquired modern bibliographic skills and methods can keep up with the pace. Librarians and information professionals are the highest beneficiaries of practical application of bibliometric data, especially because such information is most useful in bibliographic control, database evaluation, and collection development (Marisa, 2005).

Bibliometric methods are useful for evaluation and to determine the influence of a single author or to describe the relationship between two or more authors or works. Isiakpona (2012) opined that it is a study that gives a detailed statistical analysis of texts, especially of published literature in different fields of learning.

Bibliometric studies can also be used to study regional patterns of research, the extent of cooperation between research groups and national research profiles. The main derivatives of bibliometrics are: publication counts, citation counts, co-citation analysis, co-word analysis, scientific 'mapping' and citations in patents. The word 'bibliometric' has been derived from the Latin and Greek words 'biblio' and 'metrics' which refer to the application of mathematics to the study of bibliography (Thanuskodi, 2010). According to Nkiko and Adetoro (2007), the benefit of bibliometrics and citation analysis are numerous and studies in these areas have provided insight into emerging and obsolescent areas of research by investigating those resources or materials that are used regularly. According to Kostoff (1998), the usefulness of citation analysis is in measuring research impact or quality. This technique has also been employed to unobtrusively determine which resources students at any level are using to conduct research for their projects and dissertations (Gooden, 2001 and Megnigbeto 2006).

This study is an analysis of the citations in the research project reports of social science bachelor degree graduands between 2009 and 2013 that were submitted to the Covenant University Library. Covenant University is the foremost private University in Nigeria according to the National University Commission's (NUC) ratings of 2005. Its 36 academic programmes are all fully accredited by NUC and the university has a mission of raising a new generation of leaders for Africa. The University Library, also called Centre for Learning Resources, is one of the best university libraries in Africa, judging by its collections and its deployment of information technology for all services. The library serves the staff and students of the University's two colleges: Development Studies and Science and Technology not precluding members of its immediate and remote community.

The Centre for Learning Resources provides access to numerous online databases and catalogues. At the end of each academic session, the graduating class submits research project report to the departments, with a copy each deposited with the university library. …

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