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Bibliometric studies outside the information science and library science field: uncontainable or uncontrollable?

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  • Gregorio González-Alcaide

    (University of Valencia)

Abstract

Bibliometrics, and more generally all metric indicators, are increasingly used as research tools as well as for managing and evaluating research activities. This study analyzes the characteristics of publications that use bibliometrics as a research method. We identified all relevant records indexed in the Web of Science-Core Collection (1965–2019), generating a coauthorship network and performing a comparative analysis of papers published in journals specializing in Information Science & Library Science (IS&LS) and in other areas of knowledge. Metric studies show an “uncontainable” pattern of dynamic development, with the number of papers published in the past 15 years multiplying 12-fold and spreading to all areas of knowledge. This growth has evaded the discipline’s natural mechanisms of control, taking place outside the traditional niche of bibliometric studies as an autonomous and “uncontrollable” process that disregards the knowledge generated within the main theoretical frameworks linked to IS&LS. Different research groups are widely dispersed and atomized, and there are few collaboration and citation ties between IS&LS and non-IS&LS bibliometric research. Our results should spark reflection on the need to strengthen the teaching of bibliometrics and other metrics for use as research tools, to demand rigorous and critical review prior to the acceptance and publication of this type of study, and to foster links and cohesion of the extended research community operating in the area.

Suggested Citation

  • Gregorio González-Alcaide, 2021. "Bibliometric studies outside the information science and library science field: uncontainable or uncontrollable?," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 126(8), pages 6837-6870, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:126:y:2021:i:8:d:10.1007_s11192-021-04061-3
    DOI: 10.1007/s11192-021-04061-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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