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  • Author or Editor: Avishag Gordon x
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Summary The literature on Terrorism and National Security (NS), and Homeland Security (HS) presents two sides of a coin: one side demonstrates the problematic nature of terrorism and asks for solutions; the other side tries to find a response and solutions to the problem. It was expected that the NS literature would emanate from the same source material as the HS publications. Analysis of the literature of terrorism, homeland security, and national security on Science Citation Index (SCI) has shown that the material on terrorism and NS stems from the same scientific sources; that is, the Social Sciences. In contrast, the HS scientific literature originates in the exact sciences, engineering, and life and environmental sources.  The three kinds of literature have grown remarkably in recent years; however, cross-section search strategy between terrorism and HS studies yields small retrieval sets. This means that few articles both present the problem and propose possible solutions. Currently, HS is on one side of the scholarly arena, and NS and terrorism literature on the other side; they advance mostly in lines parallel to each other, but as the researcher moves from observing the core scientific literature toward the more general material, this state of affairs changes. Another analysis of a multimedia database, WorldCatalog (which indexes mostly books, but also videos and computer materials, both scientific and popular) demonstrates a different trend; the same publications deal with both terrorism and HS counter-terrorism, and suggested solutions.

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The issue of research continuance in a scientific discipline was analyzed and applied to the field of terrorism. The growing amount of literature in this field is produced mostly by one-timers who “visit” the field, contribute one or two articles, and then move to another subject area. This research pattern does not contribute to the regularity and constancy of publication by which a scientific discipline is formed and theories and paradigms of the field are created. This study observed the research continuance and transience of scientific publications in terrorism by using obtainable “most prolific terrorism authors” lists at different points in time. These lists designed by several terrorism researchers, presented a few researchers who contributed to the field continuously and many others whose main research interest lay in another discipline. The four lists observed included authors who were continuants, transients, new-comers, and terminators (who left the field). The lack of continuous, full-time research in a research field is typical of many disciplines, but the influence of this research pattern on a field’s growth and stability is different for older, established disciplines than for new and formative fields of study. With in the former, intellectual mobility could contribute to the rise of new topics and probably enrich the particular scientific field; with the latter, by contrast, it could hamper the formation and growth of the field.

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