Citation analysis of most prolific authors in the field of Library and Information Science in Nigeria.

Author:okeji, Clement


Higher educational institutions like colleges or universities are evaluated on the basis of different criteria. The most important criterion is research criterion (Dhamdhere, 2018). Library and information science professionals have several techniques to identify which information resources that researchers consult in a given field. Librarians have the responsibility of providing these information resources to researchers in LIS and any other field. A good way for librarians to do this is by identifying the resources that researchers use often in their scholarly communication process through citation analysis and then acquiring these resources. For example, citation analysis, questionnaires and similar surveys, analysis of publication patterns, and interviews are some of the techniques often adopted to achieve this purpose. Among these, citation analysis, which is an examination of the published works, such as articles and books that cite a particular author or article appears to be the most appropriate.

Citation analysis is the study of the citation process in scholarly research. The analysis of these notes, bibliographic entries, and other citations can be used to determine the timeliness of cited sources (Ogunronbi, 1988; Nkiko and Adetoro, 2007); authorship patterns in a field (Omekwu and Atinmo, 1998); frequently cited sources (Okiy, 2003), and also citations to electronic resources (Sam and Tackie, 2007). Citation analysis has been found to be a good way to determine the information resources that researchers use in a field, the volume of research in the area, and the patterns of citation and authorship (Gooden, 2001). The results of citation analysis can guide researchers, librarians, and other professionals on how to support research through acquisition of the core journals and the most prolific authors in LIS.

Citation analysis derives from the assumption that articles citing the same references also have much of their contents in common. This relationship between an article's contents and its references is the cornerstone of citation analysis and is of great interest to scholars. Meho (2007) notes that citation analysis is "a branch of information science in which researchers study the way articles in a scholarly field are accessed and referenced by others." He points out that it involves studying the frequency of citation to a researcher or journal, and which influential scholars and important works receive more citations than others.

The literature shows that not much has been done on citation analysis in the field of LIS in Nigeria to determine how libraries could better support research through their collections. Therefore, this study is set to investigate citation analysis of ten prolific authors in the field of Library and Information Science in Nigeria. Specifically, the paper intends to:

  1. determine the most cited author in the field of LIS in Nigeria;

  2. determine the authorship pattern among the authors;

  3. determine the degree of collaboration among the authors;

  4. develop a rank list of the most cited article for each individual author;

  5. determine the yearly distribution of articles published by the ten prolific authors in LIS in Nigeria; and

  6. determine the most cited journal in LIS.

    Literature review

    Google scholar database

    In recent years, the Web of Science has been joined by three other major services for citation analysis, Scopus, Google Scholar, and, most recently, Microsoft Academic. The fact that Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic are free-to-access services is an undoubtedly important step in the right direction (Stuart, 2018). Of the two major free-to-access services, Google Scholar is the longest established and continues to have greater coverage than Microsoft Academic (Harzing and Alakangas, 2017). Google Scholar provides citation counts for articles found within Google Scholar. Depending on the discipline and cited article, it may find more cited references than Web of Science or Scopus because overall, Google Scholar is indexing more journals and more publication types than other databases.

    Some authors consider that the creation of Google Scholar in 2004 and then Google Scholar Citations and Google Scholar Metrics have caused a revolution in the research evaluation field as it places within every researcher's reach the tools that allow bibliometric measuring (Delgado Lopez-Cozar, et al., 2012; Martin-Martin et al., 2014). The development of Google Scholar Metrics, launched on April 2012 with the goal of providing a ranking of scientific publications indexed on Google Scholar (journals, proceedings, repositories), provided that they had published at least 100 papers and received at least one citation in the last five years, has been a crucial step towards knowing the impact of authors' works. Once authors create their profile and link their publications, Google Scholar populates the individual's profile with citation indices and metrics (Coates, 2013). Galloway and Pease (2013) considered that Google Scholar Citations are one of the most mature and promising altmetrics tools to track readership and influence. The authors described Google Scholar Citations as a service that allow authors to track their publications and influence using Google Scholar Metrics. This free tool is extremely useful, user friendly and well regarded.

    Importance of citation analysis

    Citation analysis infers that references to a particular journal reflect scholarly impact of that article on the author of the citing work (Ezema and Asogwa, 2014). Another assumption is that the accumulated citations to a given author's work in some sense reflect the impact of that author on scholarship and research. According to Maier (2015) "citation is when one paper explicitly refers to another paper, and in that paper full reference of the cited paper is given in the bibliography. "(p.1)

    Generally, the combination of both in-text citation and the bibliographic entry constitute what is commonly known as citation. Citations are the most explicit form of an intellectual debt that is generally made between two papers (Stuart, 2018). Citations are important for the following reasons (Dhamdhere, 2018):

  7. Citations are how authors give proper credit to the work and ideas of others.

  8. People also count citations of a paper as an...

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