Periodicals are the primary source of information and an important media for communication. They play a major role for communicating the latest research findings and publishing the articles containing the current development in any field of knowledge. Information is one of the most important resources for a nation and forms the integral base for the economic. Information has been growing out in an exponential rate which is often referred to as information explosion. Similarly the periodical publication has also been increasing day by day since the first scientific journal started publication in 1665. The periodicals are the indicators of literature growth in any field of knowledge. They emerge as the main channel for transmitting knowledge. Due to the escalating cost of the periodicals and lack of adequate library budgets the selection of any particular journal for a library should be done more carefully. Therefore, the library authorities are forced to reduce the number of journal subscriptions. Bibliometric analysis has many applications in the Library and Information Science filed in identifying the research trends in the subject, core journals, etc. and thereby framing new subscription policy for tomorrow. These studies will be helpful for librarians to plan a better collection development.
There are many definitions of the term 'bibliometrics' in the literature; only a few will be mentioned. Other definitions not discussed are provided by Fairthorne (1969), Hawkins (1977), Khawaja (1987), Burton (1988), Egghe (1988), Khurshid & Sahai (1991a,b) and Tague-Sutcliffe (1992a). An early definition is provided by Pritchard (1969b, pp. 348-349): "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 analysing the various facets of written communication ... the application of mathematics and statistical methods to books and other media of communication Broadus (1987b, p. 376) reviews various other definitions, and then provides the following: "... the quantitative study of physical published units, or of bibliographic units, or of surrogates of eitherIn contrast to the other two terms (scientometrics and informetrics), Brookes (1990, p. 42) says: "I have no doubt that bibliometrics must now be conceded to library studies only. Its work is not yet ended as libraries continue to adapt to the changing world around them. And bibliometrics itself needs the...