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Using Citation Analysis to Study Changes in the Information Seeking Behavior of Medical Researchers Brian Bunnett UT Southwestern Library October 24, 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "Using Citation Analysis to Study Changes in the Information Seeking Behavior of Medical Researchers Brian Bunnett UT Southwestern Library October 24, 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 Using Citation Analysis to Study Changes in the Information Seeking Behavior of Medical Researchers Brian Bunnett UT Southwestern Library October 24, 2005

2 Outline Question Comparison Hypotheses Results Conclusions

3 Original question How has the advent of e-journals influenced research published in the health sciences?

4 How was this comparison conducted? Four journals were selected: –Lancet –British Medical Journal/BMJ –Journal of the American Medical Association –New England Journal of Medicine Every issue appearing in December 2004 and December 1954 was compared.

5 Set up of comparison Non-research articles were eliminated. Citations appearing in the research articles were then examined. These citations were grouped together according to their format and their currency.

6 Hypotheses Citations in the 1954 articles would not be as current as those in the 2004 articles. More books would be cited in the 1954 articles. Online only sources would comprise a small percentage of citations in the 2004 articles. Articles published in 2004 would have more citations than those published in 1954.

7 Results of the comparison: issues, articles, citations Number of issues:17 Number of research articles: Number of citations:

8 Results of the comparison: citations per article Number of citations per research article:

9 Results of the comparison: currency and format of citations years old:24.1%15.2% years old:27.5%26.0% years old:18.2%23.2% 11 – 15 years old:7.2%10.9% 16 – 20 years old:3.6%5.9% More than 20 years old:5.8%6.7% Books:9.8%8.4% Other:3.8%1.5% Web documents:2.1%

10 Results of the comparison: currency and format of citations

11 Review of significant findings: Citations 5 years old or less:51.6%41.2% Citations more than 15 years old: 9.4%12.6% Books:9.8%8.4% Web documents:2.1% Citations per article: %

12 How should we interpret these results?

13 Beats me.

14 Research then Journal annual or semiannual indexes Annual or monthly bibliographic indexes Regressive techniques Ask colleagues Memory was paramount

15 There is a growing mountain of research. But there is increased evidence that we are being bogged down today as specialization extends. The investigator is staggered by the findings and conclusions of thousands of other workers – conclusions which he cannot find time to grasp, much less to remember, as they appear….

16 The difficulty seems to be, not so much that we publish unduly in view of the extent and variety of present-day interests, but rather that publication has been expanded far beyond our present ability to make real use of the record. The summation of human experience is being expanded at a prodigious rate, and the means we use for threading through the consequent maze to the momentarily important item is the same as was used in the days of square-rigged ships. (Vannevar Bush, As We May Think The Atlantic Monthly, July 1945.)

17 Research now Database searching Regressive techniques Ask colleagues Memory is not paramount

18 Questions?


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