STS Research Forum

May 23, 2005 by

Two papers have been selected for the ALA-Science and Technology Section’s Research Forum. The Forum will take place June 26th from 4:00-6:00 pm.

  • “Electronic Usage Statistics and Citation Analysis” by John McDonald, Acquisitions Librarian, California Institute of Technology
  • “Proteomics: Measuring the Emergence of a New Scientific Discipline by Bibliographic Means” by Frederick W. Stoss, Science and Engineering Library, Arts and Sciences Libraries, and Rosemarie Maldonado, Department of Library and Information Studies (graduate student),School of Informatics, University at Buffalo, State University of New York

The abstracts are in the full entry.


“Electronic Usage Statistics and Citation Analysis” by John McDonald, Acquisitions Librarian, California Institute of Technology

A recent research project analyzed the statistical relationship between three measures of use of STM journals and local citations rates at the California Institute of Technology. The author used Poisson and negative binomial regression analysis to examine the relationship between locally recorded use measures (print usage and web server transaction log analysis) and publisher-provided use statistics to citation rates by institutional authors. Two subsequent analyses examined the citation rate changes before and after two local service enhancements were released: provision of local online journal versions and deployment of an OpenURL link resolver. The study showed each enhancement resulted in a statistically significant increase in citations for the full dataset, with some subject differences present. A full description of the statistical methods used will be presented along with results of the statistical analysis on a full dataset of STM journals. The study was designed to answer a few basic questions about usage statistics: What is the relationship between usage measures and citation measures? Are there journal types, publisher, or subject differences in these relationships? What are local changes that may affect usage and citation of journals? The study’s importance lies in its ability to draw together current methodologies (electronic journal usage statistics) and past methodologies (citation analysis). In addition, examining multiple measures of electronic journal usage allows librarians to estimate missing data, predict future data, and validate data not collected locally. This study also showed the significant effect of online journals and OpenURL resolvers on citation rates.

“Proteomics: Measuring the Emergence of a New Scientific Discipline by Bibliographic Means” by Frederick W. Stoss, Science and Engineering Library, Arts and Sciences Libraries, and Rosemarie Maldonado, Department of Library and Information Studies (graduate student),School of Informatics, University at Buffalo, State University of New York

Advances in molecular biology and structural genetics have spawned new disciplines in biology and chemistry. Bioinformatics, genomics, and proteomics are the core of this “New Biology.” Sequencing of the human and other species’ genomes increases the pool of genetic sequences and their associated coding proteins for which new agricultural, clinical, and therapeutic applications are being actively investigated and developed.
Proteomics first appears in the literature in 1995 and includes research for detecting, isolating and sequencing all of the proteins in an organism encoded by its genome. It is rapidly emerging as a distinct sub-discipline, which is often used to investigate the biological mechanisms associated with protein function and structure at the molecular level. This paper provides a quantitative means to measure the growth of this sub-discipline through research represented in the scientific, technical, and medical (STM) literature. The output of several bibliographic databases (Chemical Abstracts via SciFinder Scholar, MEDLINE, BIOSIS Previews, and the Science Citation Index via the Web of Science) plotted the growth of the proteomics literature base over a period of more than ten years, and examined its emergence from a larger body of literature for protein chemistry and biology. The results indicate the establishment of a concentration of research in an evolving core of journal literature (Bradford Law of Scattering), the exponential growth of proteomics literature in STM journals, and demonstrate the means to plot the emergence and evolution of a new field of scientific inquiry.

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