Type of Document Dissertation Author Zhao, Dangzhi URN etd-09232003-012028 Title A Comparative Citation Analysis Study of Web-Based and Print Journal-Based Scholarly Communication in the XML Research Field Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Information Studies, School of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Gary Burnett Committee Chair Benjamin Keith Belton Committee Member Elisabeth Logan Committee Member Kathleen Burnett Committee Member Lawrence C. Dennis Committee Member Keywords
- Efficiency Of Communication
Date of Defense 2003-08-02 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe accelerated development of information technology, especially the rapid growth of the
Web, is changing the circumstances and consequently the structures and processes of scholarly communication. Since the Internet as a powerful communication medium has radically improved the efficiency of communication, scholarly communicative activities are increasingly being conducted over the Internet: interacting with peers, searching for information, publishing research results, etc. As a result, there is renewed interest in the study of scholarly communication to see the types of communication that are taking place and the similarities to what we have come to expect from print based communication. New data sources and tools for scholarly communication research are becoming increasing available on the Web as well. These data and tools have opened up the possibility of new topics of inquiry applying new methods leading to new theories (Borgman, 2002; Zhao & Logan, 2002).
The present study explores this possibility through an author citation analysis of scholarly
communication patterns in the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) research field using data
both from the Web as indexed by ResearchIndex (http://www.researchindex.com) and from print
journals as indexed by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI)’s Science Citation Index (SCI). A series of citation analyses including author visibility analysis and author co-citation analysis have been conducted, and comparisons of results from the two data sources have been carried out controlling for data scope and citation counting method respectively, to identify the similarities and differences between Web-based and print journal-based scholarly
communication as revealed by citation analysis and to reveal the capacity of scientific papers
published on the Web along with existing citation indexing tools for Web publications as an
alternative data source to the ISI databases for citation analysis studies. Meanwhile, publications and characteristics of three groups of highly visible authors have been examined and compared –– authors highly visible both on the Web and in journals, those only in journals, and those only on the Web, to ascertain the possible contributing factors to the differences identified from the two data sources. Based on these, the present study also explores possible improvements of data sources and tools on the Web and the requirements for a problem solving environment (PSE) for scholarly communication research.
XML is one of the most promising research areas and also one of the research fields that
has taken an early move to online publishing. Through a series of citation analyses of the XML
research field, the present study identifies the ideas and thinkers that have influenced the
conceptual development within the field, the sub-areas in this field that appear to be more active, and the interrelationship of the sub-areas and of core researchers.
Findings from this study indicate that the XML research field is a coherent research field in
which scholars are well interconnected through intellectual and social ties. Researchers in this
field are communicating research results heavily on the Web, especially results from studies at
the research front. The two groups of XML scholars who actively publish on the Web or in
journals share very few publications, and are concerned with different issues. While all study
XML related standards or specifications and XML database design and implementation, research
on XML applications is a focus only in journals, and research into the Semantic Web and
programming for and processing of XML data is better represented on the Web. It appears that
while emerging specialties such as the Semantic Web are more visible on the Web, new trends in
long-existing specialties such as Software agents are well represented in journals.
However, these two groups have similar citing behavior and their collective view of author
visibility and the intellectual structure of the research field is very similar as well. This is
indicated by the very high correlation between author ranking by number of citations resulting
from ResearchIndex and that from SCI when the same citation counting method was used. This
is also suggested by the similar relative locations of specialties, to which both groups have contributed, on the maps resulting from Multi-Dimensional Scaling (MDS) of the two data
Conclusions can be drawn from the findings that evaluation of scholars and examination of
intellectual structures based on the collective view of citers on the Web should be considered as
equally valid as those based on citers' view in journals, provided the discipline being studied is well-published on the Web. In order to gain a complete picture of the scholarly communication
patterns in the XML research field, multiple data sources should be used rather than only the ISI
databases or ResearchIndex.
These findings also seem to evidence a "two-tier system" in scholarly communication that
is believed by some scholars to be a probable future model of the scholarly communication
system (Poultney, 1996; van Raan, 2001). In this model, the first tier is a "free space" which
represents the scholarly enterprise in "real time" and is most likely to feature free Web-based publications, while the second tier is the world of more formal publications that is most likely to continue to be dominated by journals (van Raan, 2001, p. 61). In other words, in this model, research would largely be initially reported on the Web to obtain priority and fast recognition and then gradually distributed through other more formal channels such as journals to gain formal acceptance.
Data sources and tools increasingly available on the Web have opened up the possibility of
new topics of inquiry applying new methods leading to new theories. However, they currently do not cover as many disciplines and are not as easy to use as the ISI databases. These are some of the aspects in scholarly communication systems that need to be improved and to which citation
analysis can contribute. A well designed problem solving environment (PSE) for scholarly
communication research can be a solution. The preliminary exploration of such a PSE in the
present study is a start and hopefully will lead to a full discussion in the future.
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