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How important is software to library and information science research? A content analysis of full-text publications

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Listed:
  • Pan, Xuelian
  • Yan, Erjia
  • Cui, Ming
  • Hua, Weina

Abstract

We investigate the contributions of scientific software to library and information science (LIS) research using a sample of 572 English language articles published in 13 journals in 2008, 2011, 2014, and 2017. In particular, we examine the use and citation of software freely available for academic use in the LIS literature; we also explore the extent to which researchers follow software citation instructions provided by software developers. Twenty-seven percent of the LIS journal articles in our sample explicitly mention and use software. Yet although LIS researchers are becoming increasingly reliant on software that is freely available for academic use, many still fail to include formal citations of such software in their publications. We also find that a substantial proportion of researchers, when documenting software use, do not cite the software in the manner recommended by its developers.

Suggested Citation

  • Pan, Xuelian & Yan, Erjia & Cui, Ming & Hua, Weina, 2019. "How important is software to library and information science research? A content analysis of full-text publications," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 397-406.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:infome:v:13:y:2019:i:1:p:397-406
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joi.2019.02.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Staša Milojević & Cassidy R. Sugimoto & Erjia Yan & Ying Ding, 2011. "The cognitive structure of Library and Information Science: Analysis of article title words," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 62(10), pages 1933-1953, October.
    2. Pan, Xuelian & Yan, Erjia & Cui, Ming & Hua, Weina, 2018. "Examining the usage, citation, and diffusion patterns of bibliometric mapping software: A comparative study of three tools," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 481-493.
    3. Bo Yang & Ronald Rousseau & Xue Wang & Shuiqing Huang, 2018. "How important is scientific software in bioinformatics research? A comparative study between international and Chinese research communities," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 69(9), pages 1122-1133, September.
    4. Pan, Xuelian & Yan, Erjia & Wang, Qianqian & Hua, Weina, 2015. "Assessing the impact of software on science: A bootstrapped learning of software entities in full-text papers," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 860-871.
    5. Staša Milojević & Cassidy R. Sugimoto & Erjia Yan & Ying Ding, 2011. "The cognitive structure of Library and Information Science: Analysis of article title words," Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 62(10), pages 1933-1953, October.
    6. Jacob, Brian A. & Lefgren, Lars, 2011. "The impact of research grant funding on scientific productivity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9), pages 1168-1177.
    7. Ricardo Cartes-Velásquez & Carlos Manterola Delgado, 2014. "Bibliometric analysis of articles published in ISI dental journals, 2007–2011," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 98(3), pages 2223-2233, March.
    8. James Howison & Julia Bullard, 2016. "Software in the scientific literature: Problems with seeing, finding, and using software mentioned in the biology literature," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 67(9), pages 2137-2155, September.
    9. Rongying Zhao & Mingkun Wei, 2017. "Impact evaluation of open source software: an Altmetrics perspective," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 110(2), pages 1017-1033, February.
    10. Xianwen Wang & Di Liu & Kun Ding & Xinran Wang, 2012. "Science funding and research output: a study on 10 countries," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 91(2), pages 591-599, May.
    11. Li, Kai & Yan, Erjia & Feng, Yuanyuan, 2017. "How is R cited in research outputs? Structure, impacts, and citation standard," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 989-1002.
    12. Xuelian Pan & Erjia Yan & Weina Hua, 2016. "Disciplinary differences of software use and impact in scientific literature," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 109(3), pages 1593-1610, December.
    13. Jeffrey A. Roberts & Il-Horn Hann & Sandra A. Slaughter, 2006. "Understanding the Motivations, Participation, and Performance of Open Source Software Developers: A Longitudinal Study of the Apache Projects," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 984-999, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bikun Chen & Dannan Deng & Zhouyan Zhong & Chengzhi Zhang, 2020. "Exploring linguistic characteristics of highly browsed and downloaded academic articles," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 122(3), pages 1769-1790, March.

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