In science communication, the written information ('codified knowledge') has an objective existence yielding a high potential for study, research and further for citing in research publications. Measures of knowledge-production, transfer and utilization can be derived for scientific analysis from the publications in which scientific knowledge is embodied. These publications are representations of intellectual contributions to research in topics in subjects or any of their sub-fields. Such research publications appearing in journals of national and international origin get indexed in periodicals databases offering integrated information services.
A major change for the development of quantitative analysis of academic publishing was the initiative of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI, now Thomson Reuter) citation index database, which began functioning in 1962 (Thackray 2000, Garfield, 2000), (Garfield 1979) together with associated postwar sociological theory allowing it to be used to assess the impact of scientific work (Merton 1973). Since then there has been a continuous increase in the computing power available in academic and research institutions that promote increasing numbers of bibliometric analyses possible. A majority of the academic research community working in various fields publish their major research findings in open international scientific and technical journals. In their publications researchers usually cite works that influence them by including bibliographic profile of the cited source documents relevant to their study. In documenting the citations in research publications, every researcher follows a specific standardized style and leaves a paper trail of his/her scientific activities, research topics, collaborative linkages, and utilization of external scientific sources.
Citations serve as informants. Innumerable articles, notes, letters and reviews that are published regularly in periodicals - and millions of citations between the periodical publications - provide a way of tapping into knowledge communication and dissemination processes in science. They provide empirical data on research capacities and scientific activity of knowledge producing entities which become the pulp for research analysis in bibliometrics which 'encompasses the measurement of 'properties of documents, and of document-related processes'. (Bargman and Furner 2002)
The present study is a bibliometric analysis of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants research output as found indexed in the Web of Science - an online database of international research output in Science, Technology, Humanities and Social Sciences. This study covered a period of five years spanned between 2008 and 2012.
Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Research
Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAP) are the local heritage with global importance. World is endowed with a rich wealth of medicinal plants. Herbs have always been the principal form of medicine in India and presently they are becoming popular throughout the developed world, as people strive to stay healthy in the face of chronic stress and pollution, and to treat illness with medicines that work in concert with the body's own defenses. People all over the world including Europe, America and Australia are consulting trained herbal professionals and have been using the plant medicines. Medicinal...