Ranking of scientific periodicals by the method of citation counting provides valueable information about the degree of importance of the ranked periodicals. But such lists suffer from some inherent limitations. This paper discusses various pitfalls of traditional ranking lists and suggests, as a remedial measure, three new bibliometric parameters, namely, (1) scientific interest of a journal in relation to total number of articles published; (2) compactness of information content in a scientific periodical; and (3) scientific value of the papers in relation to compactness of presentation. It is believed that these new parameters, whenever applied to any traditional ranking list, will help to identify the accurate positions of different scientific journals of the parent list in order of their usefulness and importance. As a case study these parameters have been applied to the first ten core journals of biochemistry identified earlier and a revised reranked order of the titles presented and discussed.
Knowledge and literature of neuroscience started growing steadily during the last few centuries. This paper aims to study the growth of knowledge in neuroscience as well as its literature. The first part of the paper, enumerates a historical survey of the growth of knowledge based on published data. This is done in view of the fact that a consolidated information at one place will be of great value to the students of scientometrics and also to the research scholars who are desirous to undertake research in this discipline. The second part of the paper is entirely based on experimental data which were collected to analyse the growth of literature of the subject.Neuroscience is notable for its wide range of approaches and techniques. In no other branch of research such a manysided approach is so essential. As a consequence last few decades have witnessed an accelerated research tempo and unprecedented growth of the literature on the subject covering its different sub-fields with gradual and systematic transgression of the conventional boundaries between them. To cope with the growth of literature, a new bibliometric technique has been applied to rank periodicals in the field based on 5785 citation data collected from the bibliographic data base published in the source journal namely,Annual Review of Neuroscience. It is expected that this list will reflect the impact of literature on the advancement of knowledge in the field of neuroscience. A striking feature of this study is the comparatively small contribution (8.8%) coming from the application of biochemical techniques and concepts to neuroscience research which differs from what we had noted earlier in the case of other biomedical disciplines. High position occupied by multidisciplinary science journals brings out the significance of new neuroscience research to science as a whole and confirms the importance of this category of journals in the dissemination of knowledge for the overall growth of science. Relatively low proportion, of citations of journals of medicine, both general as well as specialities, in spite of direct relevance of much work in this field to neurological and mental illness reflects the preponderance of interest in the funcamental aspects of neuroscience research. Like other biomedical disciplines neuroscience literature also exhibits English as the most-preferred lingua franca of the subject; dominance of journals published from USA, UK, Germany and the Netherland; a wide scatter of cited literature showing the multidisciplinary approach characteristic of present-day neuroscience research. The results of this study support Bradford's Law of Scattering and also Sengupta's Law of Bibliometrics. It is expected that the present ranking list will be of great help to the working neuroscientists to select a handful of core periodicals in the field for regular browsing from the viewpoint of their importance and significance as these core journals identify maximum segment of contemporary literature on the topics of direct relevance to their day to day research in the field.
Ranking lists of periodicals in different scientific disciplines are generally based on the total number of citations derived from a group of source journals with equal weightage given to all citations irrespective of chronology. As a result, in all these ranking lists, the position occupied by the post-war journals, may not be an accurate index of their demand or usefulness to research workers in the concerned field. This may happen because the quantum of published literature in the new journals is limited by the period for which they have been in existence, which is in many cases less than 20 years. Moreover, many of the post-war journals appearing in all these recent ranking lists have started publication even after 1960s, and their enumerated citations cover in fact a variable period of less than 20 years unlike in the case of pre-war journals. To avoid such discriminating against new journals which necessarily have fewer citation credits Sengupta suggested earlier an off-setting weightage formula which has been applied in this paper to rerank microbiology periodicals. A revised ranking list in the field of microbiology has been recommended in preference to the earlier one compiled by Sengupta. Results and findings, after application of the weightage formula, have been presented and discussed in this paper.
The enormous growth of biophysical literature has created great difficulties in tracking out the significant literature of the subject. To cope with this unprecedented growth of literature, a new bibliometric technique has been applied to rank periodicals in the field based on 4228 citation data collected from the bibliographic data base published in the source journal namely,Annual Review of Biophysics. This list is expected to reflect the impact of literature on the advancement of knowledge in the field of biophysics. A striking feature of the ranking list is the high positions occupied by multidisciplinary science journals and biochemical journals as compared to journals exclusively and specifically devoted to biophysics or any particular aspects of it. Other remarkable findings are the wide scatter of biophysics literature; dominance of the USA journals and status attained by English as the preferred medium of communications of the working biophysicists. The data are also analysed according to subject categorization of the ranked periodicals. The results of the present study have been discussed in relation to Bradford's Law of Scattering and validity of the extension of the law, suggested earlier, has been well established. It is expected that the present ranking list will enable the working biophysicists to select journals from the viewpoint of their significance to the active areas of present-day biophysical research.
Lectins, the carbohydrate binding proteins, have emerged as indispensable biological tools in the last decade. Research contibutions covering the period 1954–1982 on different aspects of lectins were collected since the introduction of the term Lectin in 1954. In the present communication we have made a bibliometric analysis of the growth of the literature on lectins, the trend of authorship of papers on lectins, and scattering phenomena. We have also identified the main international channels of communication of the results of lectin research.
In accordance with high incidence of AIDS cases, there is an epidemic growth of its literature. This unprecedented growth of literature calls for serious scientometric study. Such a study will not only help the scientometrists, information scientists, but also will be very useful to the related research workers. With this in view an attempt has been made to analyse AIDS literature published during the period 1976–1986 to identify its international channel of communication, medium of communication, contributing countries, authorship trends etc. This study is based on data printed in a source document entitledCollected Papers on AIDS Research, 1976–1986 published by BIOSIS which is a retrospective bibliography incorporating valuable references to research on AIDS from 9,000 source titles monitored in BIOSIS data base. The findings of this study have also been compared to those ofWyatt andSelf, Filardo andLancaster.
There is a rapid growth of cancer literature. Thousands of papers are being regularly published every year not only in speciality journals, but also in journals of other disciplines. Citation studies are nowadays considered a major basis of science indicators for ascertaining the importance of a scientific journal and that of the published articles on a particular subject. In oncological research the journalCancer is considered as one of the top most journals and is universally well known for its high standard and excellence. In this paper an attempt has been made to find out the importance of all the articles published in it for a particular year. Side by side bibliometric analysis was made to ascertain various other aspects like time lag between publication and first citation of articles, average citation time, subject scattering and identification of most important journals in the field etc. It is believed that this study would be of help to the working oncologists, librarians and information scientists to assess the importance of articles published in a top ranking journal of cancer and also that of different journals publishing oncological research results.