Citation Analysis of Ecology and EnvironmentalResearch: A case study of Assam University (A Central University), Silchar A Study Conducted by Rofique Uddin Laskar Student, DLIS, AUS Under the Supervision of Dr. Madan Sing Rana, Librarian, HNB Garwal University (A Central University)
INTRODUCTION Citation analysis plays a vital role in assessing thescholarly material produced by a particular community.Citation analysis is a tool used for InformationManagement/ Knowledge Management which is a veryspecialized task for Library and informationprofessionals. In recent days it is the most popular due tothe information explosion. It has a good applications inLibrary and Information management decision makingprocess. Moreover it reflects the concept of ‘rightinformation to the right person at the right time in a rightpersonal way’
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY Identified the most cited sources in the doctoral theses of dept. of ecology AUS. Study the authorship patterns of the citations. Determine the most frequently cited journals in Environmental Science discipline Observe decade-wise chronological distribution of cited items. Chronological distribution of journals decade-wise. Core Author ranking Examine the Authorship trend. Examine the geographical distribution of core journals Investigate the citation half-life.
Methodology The research is a descriptive study, the major source of data used are the theses submitted for the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in the Department of Ecology and environmental science, Assam University, Silchar, during 2009-2010. The study population is the total population of theses submitted within the coverage period of the study. In all, eleven doctoral theses were analyzed. Collection of data The first and most important task is to collect references fromthe Ph.D. theses submitted to the department of ecology andenvironmental science within the year 2009-2010. A total of threethousand citations were accounted from the eleven PhD thesessubmitted.
Citation Analysis: An introduction The tradition of providing citations at the end of technicalwriting is quite an old phenomenon. They have their own origin inthe referencing practices of researches and writers (White, 1985). Itis reported that the "concept of identification of the source of anidea or quotation, developed during Renaissance, (i.e. From 14thto16th century) after the invention of printing. However, the preciseorigin of use of footnotes or references is obscure. The earliestexample provided in the Oxford English Dictionary is WilliamSavages A dictionary of the Art of Printing (1841), containing bottomnotes... or footnotes. It is mentioned that earlier examples of notesresembling footnotes are the Rheims-Douai version of the Bible (1763).
APPLICATION OF CITATION ANALYSIS Citation analysis has two broad areas of applications. One of them issuitable for librarians where citations are used to find out various featuresof literature use like type of documents, languages, age, country oforigin, subject distribution, highly cited authors, journals, citation rate,authorship pattern etc. and the other kind of study is useful to derive theresearch productivity in a field of study. Smith (1981) reviewed the literature onapplications’ of citation analysis and identified the following areas ofapplications: 1. Literature of studies 2. Type of literature studies 3. User studies 4. Historical studies 5. Communication pattern 6. Evaluative bibliometrics 7. Information retrieval 8. Collection development
DATA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRITATION A total number of 3020 citations were collected from PhD theses submitted by the students of Ecology and Environmental Science, Assam University, Silchar, during 2009-2010. These citations stand as the source data for the citation analysis and interpretation of the data taken were analyzed.
Distribution of citation by formsS. L. Ranking Number of Percentage CumulativeNo. No Name of the Document Citation Cumulative Percentage 1 1 Journal 2097 2097 69.44% 69.44% 2 2 Book 464 2561 15.36% 84.80% 3 3 Reports (all) 125 2686 4.14% 88.94% Article (Journal name not 4 4 given) 71 2757 2.35% 91.29% 5 5 Internet Resource 53 2810 1.75% 93.05% 1.56% 6 6 Conference Proceeding 47 2857 94.60% 7 7 Other Materials 43 2900 1.42% 96.03% 8 8 Composite Book 39 2939 1.29% 97.32% 9 9 Thesis 26 2965 0.86% 98.18% 10 10 Review (all) 22 2987 0.73% 98.91% 1.09% 11 Doc Type Not Mentioned 33 3020 100%
Cont…This Table is also representing in the diagram. In this diagram it is clearly shown that thecitation rate goes downwards with the decreasing of decades. Ranking of Journals Decadewise 800 700 696 600 500 503 400 407 300 229 200 No of Citation of Journals 100 107 55 0 14 14 13 3 9 6 8 3 3 6 1 3 1 2 5 9
Most Significant JournalsS. L. Ranking No. of CumulativeNo. No. Name of the Journal Citation Cumulative Percentage Percentage 1 1 Journal of Orchid Soc. India 52 52 2.48% 2.48% 2 2 Soil Biology and Conservation 34 86 1.62% 4.10% 3 3 Arunachal Forest News 29 115 1.38% 5.48% 4 3 Indian J. Traditional Knowledge 29 144 1.38% 6.87% 5 4 Pollution Research 28 172 1.34% 8.20% 6 5 Current Science 26 198 1.24% 9.44% 7 6 Hydrobiologia 24 222 1.14% 10.59% 8 7 Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 22 244 1.05% 11.64% 9 8 Bulletin Botany Servey India 21 265 1.00% 12.64% 10 8 Ethnobiology Ethnomedicine 21 286 1.00% 13.64% 11 9 Economic Botany 19 305 0.91% 14.54% 12 10 Investigation On Cetacea 18 323 0.86% 15.40% 13 11 J. Econ. Tax. Botany 15 338 0.72% 16.12% Agricultural Ecosystem and 14 12 Environment 14 352 0.67% 16.79% 15 12 Agroforestry System 14 366 0.67% 17.45% 16 13 Indian J. Forestry 13 379 0.62% 18.07% 17 13 Indian J. Agron 13 392 0.62% 18.69% 18 14 Environmental Monitoring Assessment 12 404 0.57% 19.27% 19 15 Biological Conservation 11 415 0.52% 19.79% 20 15 Pedobiology 11 426 0.52% 20.31% 21 15 Journal of Ecology 11 437 0.52% 20.84% 22 15 Journal of Ethno pharmacology 11 448 0.52% 21.36% 23 16 Ethno botanical Leaflets 10 458 0.48% 21.84%
Authorship pattern Single vs Multiple600500400300 Single Author Multiple Author200100 0
GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OF CORE JOURNALSS. L. No. Ranking No. Name of the Journal No. of Citing Place of publication 1 1 Journal of Orchid Soc. India 52 India 2 2 Soil Biology and Conservation 34 UK 3 3 Arunachal Forest News 29 India 4 3 Indian J. Traditional Knowledge 29 India 5 4 Pollution Research 28 India 6 5 Current Science 26 India 7 6 Hydrobiologia 24 India 8 7 Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 22 India 9 8 Bulletin Botany Survey India 21 India 10 8 Ethnobiology Ethnomedicine 21 India 11 9 Economic Botany 19 India 12 10 Investigation On Cetacea 18 California 13 11 J. Econ. Tax. Botany 15 India 14 12 Agricultural Ecosystem and Environment 14 USA 15 12 Agroforestry System 14 Netherland 16 13 Indian J. Forestry 13 India 17 13 Indian J. Agron 13 India 18 14 Environmental Monitoring Assessment 12 USA 19 15 Biological Conservation 11 India 20 15 Pedobiology 11 USA 21 15 Journal of Ecology 11 India 22 15 Journal of Ethnopharmacology 11 India 23 16 Ethnobotanical Leaflets 10 India 24 16 Tropical Ecology 10 India 25 16 American Orchid Society Bulletin 10 USA
MAJOR FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONThe analysis yields the following results: 1. Distribution of citation format: the distribution pattern of citations by type of document i.e., form-wise shows that journals are heavily cited (69.44%), citation to books falls in the second position (15.36%), citations of all types of reports comes in the next order (4.14%) and the citations to the other forms of literature are negligible; 2. Chronological list of document types: the chronological distribution of document type shows that the recent documents of all types are cited heavily. Most of the citations are cited in between the year 2000 to 1991, 696 journals and 176 books are cited from the total citations; 3. Chronological distributions of citations Year-wise: Current literature is most important to the Ecology and environmental science students and researchers for their research activities. The year 2001,2000,1999,1998,1997,1996 and 1995’s literature are very significant from the ecology and environmental science researchers point of view; 4. Chronological distributions of journals: like other resources, journal citations also follow the latest trends. A total 33.19% journal citations comes in between the year 2001 to 2010.
Cont…5. Chronological distributions of books: in the two decades (2000-1991) and (1990-1981) covers 62.09% book citations, it means that most- latest books are cited in this field.6. Core Journals: the first twenty five high ranking journals contribute 22.79% of the total citations. Journal of orchid society is in the first position (2.48%) and Social biology and conservation is in the second position (1.62%). It is observed that there is lack of uniformity among all theses as far as journal citations are concerned.7. Core Authors: the rank-list of authors has been found out excluding the corporates author. First thirty high ranked authors contribute 13.48% citations among the total citations. Hedre, S. N., Annonymous, Rao,A. N., Jain, S. K. and Pilleri, G. are the first 5 high ranked authors in this field. Like journals there is also lack of consistency as far as authors citations.8. Authorship Pattern: in this field multiple authors are mostly cited than single authors. 46.89% single authors are cited where as 52.28% multiple authors are cited. It is found that collaboration works are growing and growing rapidly from the year 1981.9. Half-Life: the cited half-life of the ecology and environmental science is found 18 which is in the year 1993. Half-life reflects the latest trend of citations in this field.10. Geographical distribution of core journals
ISSUES FOR FURTHER RESEARCH Citation study is a lengthy process but interesting and a real life study. It has a very goodutility in today’s World especially in India. It is not only for librarians, information scientist but also forthe scientists, researchers, students and teachers in a particular field to improve their quality ofresearch. The present study is a dissertation work so an in-depth analysis was not done. Moreover dueto confinement of time the study was not conducted in a large scale as there were only six monthsavailable to conduct the study according to course structure of MLISc programme. The study can bedeveloped and can be continued further into the following – The present study could be converted into a bibliometrics analysis where different laws can be applied to find out the impact of the scholarly material. This investigation can be extended to all theses submitted by the department of Ecology and Environmental Science. This study could also be conducted in all universities of Assam in the field of Ecology and Environmental Science to find out the overall citation trends in this field. No similar study has been conducted yet in any subjects of Assam University, Silchar, so it is very important to focus on more studies in every subject to help acquisition decision making process. Moreover, the citation study in India is not negligible today, but in this subject very less number of studies has been conducted. More studies will facilitate to find out the real scenario in this field.
CONCLUSIONS Citations studies do provide some guide lines for the librarians and information scientists inthe decision making process in their acquisition policy. The exponential growth of knowledge, ever escalating costs of documents, limited allocationof budget are some of the factors that are leading the librarians and information scientists to adoptstatistical and mathematical techniques for decision making process. Although, several findings were pointed out in this study but a single research cannot be all-encompassing to point out the multifarious existing problems that call for urgent solutions. With thisstudy carried out in a single university, it would be beneficial to replicate it in some of the other topuniversities of North-East with virile Ecology departments in order to compare the results. This will helpin answering the question like: Are the core materials similar? Are they maintaining latest trends? Arethe core authors similar? Are the other sources also beneficial to their research work? These answerscould prove to be helpful to already established university libraries and new other libraries seeking toestablish Ecology department with implications for boosting existing and new collections.