Characteristics of Classic Papers of Library and Information Science: A Scientometric Study.

Author:Saberi, Mohammad Karim

    Scientometrics as a scientific field is believed the most common method to evaluate scientific actions (1). Scientometrics is measurement of science bearing all quantitative methods and patterns related to generating and promoting science and technology (2). In 1969, Nalimov and Mulchenko created Naukometriya that is Russian equivalent of Scientometrics term. During the years, several definitions of Scientometrics were presented. In 1992, Tague-Sutcliffe defined Scientometrics as studying quantitative aspects of science. He believed that Scientometrics could include a part of sociology of science relatively overlapping with bibliometrics (3). In 1997, Van Raan thought that Scientometrics would be quantitative studies on science and technology (4). In 2001, Hood and Wilson believed that Scientometrics could handle entire quantitative aspects of science and communication in science. Gupta and Hasan (2018) suggested that Scientometrics could be a branch of science. With the passage of time, Scientometrics as a remarkable tool to evaluate research performances and scientific outputs has been acquiring favorable position and converting to a powerful means in Science Policy (5,6). Scientometrics is considered an efficient assessment means for scientific researches (7). Scientometrics and related fields such as bibliometrics have been conceived by many researchers for recent years (8). Today, Scientometrics known as an interdisciplinary research field has extended over almost all scientific scopes and has used to describe and anticipate academic status of researchers, educational and research departments, scientific journal, universities, organizations, and countries (9,10,11). In this regard, numerous indices and techniques have developed to conduct Scientometrics studies (12). Additionally, authentic databases such as Web of science, Scopus, and Google scholar have developed and presented comprehensive information on the number of published papers and article citations. In fact, establishment of the databases leads to developing modern solid Scientometrics features (13). To identify the intensity of research outputs, number of publications may be a useful index but it seems insufficient for the quality of them. Therefore, a supplemental index known citation is produced. The more citations of a research output such as a paper, the more high-quality and effectiveness on science field (12). One of the most modern indices formed based on citations are classic papers. Google Scholar has named these articles "classic articles", because these articles are the highly cited papers in recent decade (2006-2016). Classic papers include authentic research articles but overview articles, status reviews, editorials, guidelines etc. Google scholar has provided the opportunity to identify and extract classic papers of different domains and developed 10 highly cited papers for each domain since 2017 (14). Classic papers of Google scholar entirely reflecting professional fields can be beneficial for researchers and experts. These articles have been the most cited and used in the last 10 years and helped scientific society improve various subject areas. Library and Information science as a professional area that is very close to Scientometrics studies is not exceptional. In turn, LIS papers contribute to development of knowledge of this area and have effect on extending knowledge borders of LIS field. Numerous LIS researchers and experts do not have enough familiarity with classic papers and they are not aware of their importance. Scientometrics study could be a road map for LIS researchers and experts and help them select their research field. Since, there has been no research of LIS classic papers so far, analyzing classic papers using Scientometrics techniques and indices including citations, SJR, FWCI, Citation Benchmarking, H-Index, Impact Factor, and Authorship Pattern could suggest precious data to academic community of LIS as well as providing new paths to conduct efficient, authentic, and beneficial researches.


    Classic papers were first introduced by Google scholar in May 2017. However, there had already been researches of highly cited papers that we will discuss.

    In a study, Iyanovic' and Ho (15) identify and analyze the characteristics of LIS highly cited papers on Social Science Citation Index. The data indicate that 26% of highly cited papers have been published on MIS Quarterly. Harvard University is the most productive university. Most authors are from University of Maryland. 67% of highly cited papers have been written by the USA researchers.

    In a study, Moral-Munoz etal (16) examine highly cited papers of Intelligent Transportation Systems. In this study, they identify leading authors, nations, and institutions. The data show that the USA universities and institutions are the most excellent dealing with highly cited papers.

    In a study "Highly-cited papers in Library and Information Science", Bauer; Leydesdorff and Bornmann (17) examine the highly cited papers of Web of Science (WoS) in 2002-2012. The data indicate that the highest number of articles is dedicated to the authors of Harvard University. "Collection and Exploitation in Information in Clinical Practices", "The Use of Internet in Public Communication and Commerce", and "Scientometrics" are considered important fields of Library and Information science.

    Garousi and Fernandes (18) examine highly cited papers of computer engineering through Scientometrics. The study data indicate that the most highly cited papers included 1817 citations published in 1994. The data also show that based on yearly citations mean a leading article contained 152 citations published in 2004.

    Elango and Ho (19) examine highly cited papers of Indian authors on Science Citation Index Expanded Database. The data show that articles with co-authorship or international collaboration may receive more citations. The USA is thought the best country for international collaboration.

    Martin-Del-Rio etal (20) identify and analyze highly cited papers on nurses' stress through retrospective bibliometric analysis. The data indicate that the authors of highly cited papers come from the UK and USA.


    The study has been conducted with the aim of Scientometrics analysis of LIS highly cited papers. The main purposes of the study include as follows:

    * Identification of journals published LIS classic papers

    * Examination of citation performance of journals publishing LIS classic papers

    * Identification of authorship pattern of LIS classic papers


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