Professor Belver Griffith (fwd)

Gretchen Whitney gwhitney at UTKUX.UTCC.UTK.EDU
Thu Dec 9 17:13:52 EST 1999

CONTACT: Elaine Danelutti
elaine.danelutti at

Dr. Belver C. Griffith
A Pioneer in Information Science
        1931- 1999

Belver C. Griffith, professor emeritus and research professor at Drexel
University's College of Information Science and Technology died at his
Philadelphia home Saturday, October 23, 1999 after a prolonged illness.

Dr. Griffith taught at Drexel's College of Information Science and
Technology from 1969 until he retired in 1991.  He was a pioneer in the
field of information science and a world-renowned scientometrician studying
the patterns in formal and information communication among scientists.   He
did extensive research on the ways in which the scientific literature ages
and performed key studies involving author cocitation.

Dr. Griffith was the author of over 200 reports and articles and edited two
books during his career.  Works that he authored or co-authored have been
translated into German, Chinese, Portuguese, Czech, Japanese, and Russian.
Several articles on the literature of information science or the
quantitative study of science have identified him as being among the most
highly cited first authors in these fields.  In addition to his record of
publication, he received many awards for his research including the 1996
Derek de Solla Price Award for scientometrics; the Drexel University
Research Achievement Award in 1980; and the 1982 ASIS "Outstanding
Information Teacher Award".  He was also elected a Fellow of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science and in 1987 received the
Distinguished Lectureship award from the New Jersey division of the American
Society for Information Science.

Belver Griffith received his B.A. from the University of Virginia and the
M.A. and PhD. in experimental psychology from the University of Connecticut.
Before joining Drexel, Dr. Griffith was associate director, and then
director of the American Psychological Association Project on Scientific
Information Exchange in Psychology.  During that time, he was responsible
for the technical aspects of planning an information system for psychology,
which led eventually to the automation of Psychological Abstracts.  While on
a postdoctoral fellowship, he was a member of the technical staff at Bell
Telephone Laboratories, and a research associate at
E.R. Johnstone Training and Research Center where he did experimental work
on cognition, language, and speech.

Outside his scientific interests, Dr. Griffith enjoyed sailing on the
Chesapeake Bay, art and antiques.  His wife, Carolyn Adams and daughters,
Caitlin, Wynne, and Leigh survive him.  Memorial donations may be made to
the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, 162 Prince George St., Annapolis, Md. 21401.

Family and friends are gathering on January 29, 2000 at the Drexel
University Academic Building on 33rd and Arch Streets from 2 pm to 3:30 pm
to celebrate the life of Belver Griffith.

                                November 1999

Eugene Garfield, Ph.D.
Chairman Emeritus, ISI, 3501 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Publisher, THE SCIENTIST, 3600 Market St,
Philadelphia, PA 19104 (
Tel: 215-243-2205 // Fax: 215-387-1266
email:  garfield at
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