Authorship Pattern and Degree of Collaboration in Marine Pollution Research

Authorship Pattern and Degree of Collaboration in Marine Pollution Research

S. Thanuskodi (Alagappa University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3559-2.ch009


Marine pollution has been an ever-present problem since the advent of large-scale agricultural activity and industrialization. However, significant laws and regulations at an international level to tackle the problem came only in the mid-20th century. During United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea in the early 1950s, the various stakeholders came together to deliberate and formulate laws pertaining to marine pollution. Until the mid-20th century, the majority of the scientists maintained that oceans were vast enough to be able to dilute the amount of pollution being drained into them, thus considering pollution harmless to the marine life. The study examines the global output of marine pollution literature during 1994–2018 reflected in Web of Science database. The study reveals that, out of total 1412 papers, the largest number of publications was 112 (7.93%) are in the year 2018. The growth rate increased from 16 publications in 1994 to 112 (2018). The average collaborative index 4.48 was counted between 1994 and 2018. The average value of collaboration coefficient for marine pollution is 0.61. The degree of collaboration in the marine pollution literature is 0.86, which clearly indicates the dominance of multiple authors. Among the Prolific authors, Bellas, J. is the top ranker who has contributed 22 articles. In geographical distribution of publications, the largest number of contributions was from England with 560 (39.66%). India placed sixth with 23 (1.63%).
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The nautical environment becomes polluted and contaminated through various sources and forms. Major sources of marine pollution are the inflow of chemicals, solid waste, discharge of radioactive elements, industrial and agricultural runoff, man-made sedimentation, oil spills, and many such factors. The majority portion of the marine pollution comes from the land that contributes to 80% of the marine pollution. Air pollution also carries pesticides from farms and dust into the sea waters. Air and land pollution is a major contributor to the growing marine pollution that is not only hampering the aquatic ecology but also affecting the life on land. The non-point sources like wind-blown debris, agricultural runoff, and dust become the major source of pollution. Apart from these, factors like land runoff, direct discharge, atmospheric pollution, pollution caused by ships, and deep sea mining of natural resources contribute heavily.

UN Environment’s Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities, which has been active since 1995, aims to provide guidance to national and regional authorities on how to prevent, reduce, control and eliminate marine degradation from land-based activities. Launched in 2017, UN Environment’s Clean seas campaign is urging governments to enact policies to reduce the use of plastic; targeting industry to minimize plastic packaging and redesign products; and calling on consumers to change their throwaway habits – before irreversible damage is done to our seas. We also work through our Regional Seas programme to strengthen marine protections around the world.

Scientometrics is one of the most important measures for the assessment of scientific production. One of the most trustworthy ways to track science and technology activities is the study of scientific literature. During the last few years Scientometric analysis has been increasingly used to evaluate the research performance of researchers and the growth of various disciplines of sciences. The analysis has also been used to evaluate the research output of many researchers around the world. Scientometric studies are useful to understanding the growth and development of literature, identifying strengths and weaknesses of a country, organizations and individual in various fields of scientific activities. These studies will help the researchers to have better insights in framing science strategy and guiding the researchers. As a result, the present study was undertaken on the global publication output in marine pollution.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Authorship: Provides credit for an individual's contributions to a study and carries accountability. Normally, an author is an individual judged to have made a substantial intellectual or practical contribution to a publication and who agrees to be accountable for that contribution.

Impact Factor (IF) or Journal Impact Factor (JIF): A scientometric index which reflects the yearly average number of citations to recent articles published in that journal. It is frequently used as a proxy for the relative importance of a journal within its field; journals with higher impact factors are often deemed to be more important than those with lower ones.

Citation Analysis: The examination of the frequency, patterns, and graphs of citations in documents. It uses the pattern of citations, links from one document to another document, to reveal properties of the documents. A typical aim would be to identify the most important documents in a collection.

Marine Pollution: The introduction of substances or energy from humans into the marine environment resulting in such deleterious effects as harm to living resources, hazards to human health, hindrance to marine activities including fishing, impairment of quality for use of seawater, and reduction of amenities.

Scientometrics: The field of study which concerns itself with measuring and analysing scientific literature. Scientometrics is a sub-field of bibliometrics. Major research issues include the measurement of the impact of research papers and academic journals, the understanding of scientific citations, and the use of such measurements in policy and management contexts.

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