An Introduction to Bibliometrics and Informetrics

An Introduction to Bibliometrics and Informetrics

Sean Eom (Southeast Missouri State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-738-6.ch001
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Abstract

Author cocitation analysis (ACA) is a branch of bibliometrics. Bibliometrics/informetrics is one of the older areas of library and information science. The terms bibliometrics, scientometrics, and informetrics are often used synonymously. This chapter briefly overviews bibliometrics, including basic concepts, scopes, and study areas of bibliometrics. The areas of study cover bibliometric distribution, citation and cocitation analyses, and library use studies. The study of bibliometric distribution led to the invention of Lotka’s law of scientific productivity, Bradford’s law of core scatter in journals, and Zipf’s law of word occurrence. The researchers in the citation and co-citation areas identify the pattern of how published documents are cited over time using many different approaches such as bibliometric coupling, document cocitation analysis, author cocitation analysis, and co-word analysis. This chapter also discusses assumptions, purposes, benefits, limitations, and criticism of ACA. The last section of this chapter includes discussions of several developments in informetrics and ACA. Since the late 1990s, a new subset of informetrics, webometrics/ cybermetrics, has become part of the main stream library and information science research area. In ACA, there had been a series of intense debates on the use of Pearson correlations coefficients, r, as a similarity measure along with several new developments in ACA visualization tools such as Pathfinder networks (Howard D. White, 2003b), AuthorLink (Lin, White, & Buzydlowski, 2003), and VxInsight (Boyack, Wylie, & Davidson, 2002).
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Introduction

The library and information science (LIS) field consists of informetrics, bibliometrics, scientometrics, cybermetrics, and webometrics. The terms bibliometrics, librametry scientometrics, and informetrics are frequently used interchangeably. Even in the late 1980’s, all these terms were not clearly distinguishable each other. Wormell described the chaotic state of terminologies and the acceptance of the term “informetrics” this way (Wormell, 1998, p. 258):

The individual identities of the subfields “bibliometrics”, “informetrics”, “scientometrics” and “technometrics” are unfortunately not very clear, and there is chaos in the terminology. At the 1987 international conference some thoughts were given to changing the name of the discipline to “informetrics”, and since the late 1980s there has been some support for use of this term. But alongside or parallel with this, both “bibliometrics” and “scientometrics” are frequently used terms. The field is becoming a scientific discipline including all the statistical and mathematical aspects connected with library, documentation and information problems with strong links to the theoretical aspects of information retrieval.

As Figure 1 shows, nowadays, informetrics is a broader term that encompasses electronic communication of media including the Internet and World Wide Web, books, and journals. Informetrics is defined (Tague-Sutcliffe, 1992) as “the study of the quantitative aspects of information in any form, not just records or bibliographies, and in any social group, not just scientists.” The development of the Internet has expanded the scope of bibliometrics into electronic communication media. These new areas are often called webometrics and cybermetrics. Scientometrics is the application of quantitative tools to the study of scientific communications (Loet Leydesdorff, 2001).

Figure 1.

Relationships among many subfields of library and information science fields

This chapter aims to provide a bird’s-eye view of bibliometrics/informetrics. This chapter provides basic concepts and the scope of bibliometrical studies. The last section discusses the purposes, assumptions, and limitations of ACA .

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What Is Bibliometrics (Statistical Bibliography)?

The term statistical bibliography was coined by E. Wyndham Hulme (1923). The purposes of statistical bibliography are:

  • 1.

    to shed light on the processes of written communication and of the nature and course of development of a discipline (in so far as this is displayed through written communication), by means of counting and analyzing the various facets of written communications (Prichard, 1969).

  • 2.

    the assembling and interpretation of statistics relating to books and periodicals … to demonstrate historical movements, to determine the national or universal research use of books and journals, and to ascertain in many local situations the general use of books and journals (Raisig, 1962).

Pritchard (1969) suggested using the term bibliometrics instead of statistical bibliography. He believed that the term statistical bibliography was vague and could be confused with statistics itself or bibliographies on statistics. According to Pritchard, bibliometrics is defined as “the application of mathematics and statistical methods to books and other media of communication.”

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Scope Of Bibliometric Studies

The huge body of knowledge existing today is the result of research publications in the form of journal articles, conference proceedings, books, etc. According to Ravichandra Rao (1983, p.216), bibliometric techniques are extensively used in the identification of trends in subjects such as the identification of core journals and the patterns of library use. They are also used to build models of the study of scientific communication.

Most of these models are tested and used primarily at the local level (institutional level) to:

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Table of Contents
Acknowledgment
Sean B. Eom
Chapter 1
Sean Eom
Author cocitation analysis (ACA) is a branch of bibliometrics. Bibliometrics/informetrics is one of the older areas of library and information... Sample PDF
An Introduction to Bibliometrics and Informetrics
$37.50
Chapter 2
Sean Eom
This chapter introduces online citation data retrieval using the Web of Science and Dialog Classic. The Web of Science provides access to... Sample PDF
An Introduction to Online Data Retrieval and Issues
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Chapter 3
Sean Eom
Virtually all ACA studies using Thomson’s ISI citation indexes used only the first author to retrieve the cocitation counts. Therefore, this has... Sample PDF
The Impact of the ISI Convention of Relying on only the Name of the First Author on ACA Results: An Empirical Investigation
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Chapter 4
Diagonal Values in ACA  (pages 91-121)
Sean Eom
Diagonal values in the cocitation frequency counts matrix are a fundamental issue in ACA study. Diagonal values are the co-citation frequency counts... Sample PDF
Diagonal Values in ACA
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Chapter 5
The Fox-Base Approach  (pages 123-136)
Sean Eom
Chapter II introduced online cocitation counts retrieval using Dialog Classic and citation index files. Certainly Dialog Classic is an attractive... Sample PDF
The Fox-Base Approach
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Chapter 6
Sean Eom
This chapter shows another alternative approach of building citation database and retrieval system using the spreadsheet program, Microsoft Excel.... Sample PDF
Building Databases and the Cocitation Counts Generation System Using Microsoft Excel Program in Visual Basics
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Chapter 7
Sean Eom
The previous two chapters examined the two alternative approaches of retrieving cocitation counts using custom databases and cocitation frequency... Sample PDF
Overview of Author Cocitation Analysis Procedures
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Chapter 8
Sean Eom
This chapter describes the factor procedure. The first section of the chapter begins with the definition of factor analysis. This is the statistical... Sample PDF
Principal Component Analysis Using the Factor Procedure
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Chapter 9
Sean Eom
This chapter describes the distance and cluster procedure of the SAS system. SAS version 9 introduced the proc distance procedure. All previous... Sample PDF
The Distance and Cluster Procedure
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Chapter 10
Multidimensional Scaling  (pages 225-254)
Sean Eom
This chapter discusses multidimensional scaling (MDS) procedures. MDS is a class of multivariate statistical techniques/procedures to produce two or... Sample PDF
Multidimensional Scaling
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Chapter 11
Sean Eom
This chapter briefly introduces the use of SPSS version 15.0 to conduct ACA analysis. The SPSS accepts datafiles in many different formats including... Sample PDF
ACA Analysis with the 15.0.0 Verison of SPSS for Windows
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Chapter 12
Sean Eom
This is the capstone chapter that shows how the concepts, tools, and techniques discussed in each of the previous chapters can be applied in... Sample PDF
The Intellectual Structure of Decision Support Systems Research (1969-1989)
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Chapter 13
Sean Eom
This chapter extends an earlier benchmark study (Sean B. Eom, 1995) which examined the intellectual structure, major themes, and reference... Sample PDF
The Changing Structure of Decision Support Systems Research: An Empirical Investigation through Author Cocitation Mapping (1990-1999)
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