Library and Information Science research areas: A content analysis of articles from the top 10 journals 2007-8

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The current study seeks to describe and analyze journal research publications in the top 10 Library and Information Science journals from 2007-8. The paper presents a statistical descriptive analysis of authorship patterns (geographical distribution and affiliation) and keywords. Furthermore, it displays a thorough content analysis of keywords and abstracts extracted from 10 leading Information Science journals in 2007-8, using Zins' (2007) classification scheme of Information Science. The main results suggest the tendency of authors towards collaboration in authorship. North American and European authors - from the core discipline of Librarianship and Information Science - can be considered as leaders in the top 10 LIS journals. Furthermore, there are three major cores of research in these journals: information technology, methodology and social information science. It is important that LIS researchers, professionals, teachers and students be keenly aware of the updated main spheres of research in top leading LIS journals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-35
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Librarianship and Information Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The main results of this analysis of articles from the top 10 journals suggest a tendency towards collaboration in authorship. North American and European authors – from the core discipline of LIS – can be considered as leaders in those journals. Furthermore, there is a distinct tendency towards multi-disciplinarity. There are three major areas of research in the LIS professional literature: information technology, methodology and social information science. This finding is very interesting as it proposes two new areas of research (methodology and social information science) as core to LIS research (in these leading journals). It seems that new themes such as methodology and social information science play a significant role in the LIS professional literature, apart from and along with information technology. It is important that LIS researchers, professionals, teachers and students be keenly aware of the updated main spheres of research in the discipline. Educators can design their curriculum with a multi-disciplinary orientation and researchers can be exposed to the significance of scholarly collaboration. The author suggests that because of the dynamic changes in the LIS discipline and the growth of articles which deal with other topics (apart from traditional LIS issues such as: storage, transmission and use of information), a further study be conducted within a few years to trace future possible changes and trends in LIS research. Appendix 1. LIS journals’ impact factor Journal Impact factor 2008 Description Scientometrics 2.328 An international journal for all quantitative aspects of the science of science, communication in science and science policy Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 1.954 Has been published continuously since 1950. JASIST publishes reports of research and development in a wide range of subjects and applications in information science and technology Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 1.901 A web-based, scholarly journal. Its focus is social science research on computer-mediated communication via the Internet, the World Wide Web, and wireless technologies. Journal of Information Processing & Management 1.852 Includes reports of basic and applied research in information science, computer science, cognitive science, deals also with: generation, representation, organization, storage, retrieval and use of information Journal of Documentation 1.712 The journal provides a forum for the dissemination of scholarly articles, research reports and critical reviews in the information sciences. It provides a link between research and scholarship and reflective professional practice so that all are informed and enhanced. Journal of Information Science 1.648 An international journal covering topics of interest to all those researching and working in the sciences of information and knowledge management Journal of Global Information Management 1.387 Publishes original material concerned with all aspects of global information resources management Library and Information Science Research 1.226 A cross-disciplinary journal focusing on the research process in Library and Information Science Information Research 1.000 An open access, international, scholarly journal, dedicated to making accessible the results of research across a wide range of information-related disciplines College & Research Libraries 0.781 A scholarly research journal published by the Association of College & Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association. It includes articles in all fields of interest and concern to academic and research libraries. The focus of the journal is on reports of original research and manuscripts may also include descriptive narratives of successful and unsuccessful ventures, thoughtful discussions of issues in librarianship, and other suitable subjects Appendix 2. Authors’ professional affiliation – with less than 1% of the total articles Discipline Frequency Percentage Sub-categories Political Science 12 0.96% Social Science 10 0.80% Environmental Science 10 0.80% Informatics 10 0.80% Information Technology 9 0.72% Statistics 9 0.72% Physics 9 0.72% Sociology 9 0.72% Behavioral Science 8 0.64% Languages 5 0.40% Linguistics Information Society 4 0.32% Electronics 4 0.32% Philosophy 4 0.32% Humanities 4 0.32% Knowledge Mapping 4 0.32% Marketing 4 0.32% Medical Informatics 3 0.24% Agriculture 3 0.24% Knowledge Management 3 0.24% Biology 3 0.24% Mathematics 2 0.16% Applied mathematics Interaction Center 1 0.15% Geography 1 0.15% Musicology 1 0.15% Law 1 0.15% Chemistry 1 0.15% Cultural Science 1 0.15% Geological Science 1 0.15% Knowledge Science 1 0.15% Information Decision 1 0.15% University of Earth 1 0.15% Human Factor Division 1 0.15% Information & Interaction 1 0.15% This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.


  • LIS research areas
  • content analysis
  • top journals


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