Citation Analysis of Chemistry Doctoral Dissertations
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Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship Fall 2001
Citation Analysis of Chemistry Doctoral Dissertations: An Ohio State
University Case Study
Angela M. Gooden
Head, Geology/Physics Library
University of Cincinnati
angela.gooden at uc.edu <mailto:angela.gooden at uc.edu>
Chemical Sciences Librarian
Science & Engineering Library
Ohio State University
A citation analysis of dissertations accepted in the Department of
Chemistry at The Ohio State University between 1996-2000 was performed as a
way to determine material use. The 30 dissertations studied generated a
total of 3,704 citations. Types of materials cited, currency of literature,
and dissertation topics were all analyzed.
The current results corroborate past research by other authors.
Journal articles were cited more frequently than monographs: 85.8% of the
citations were journal articles and 8.4% of the citations were monographs.
The results of this study may be used to assist OSU and other universities
in chemistry collection development.
Diadoto (1994) defines citation analysis as "a wide ranging area of
bibliometrics that studies the citations to and from documents. Such studies
may focus on the documents themselves or on such matters as: their authors;
the journals (if the documents are journal articles) in which the articles
appear." Strohl's (1999) definition of citation checking is also on point
for the current study: "a sample of citations from textbook bibliographies,
journal articles, student dissertations or other sources are checked against
holdings to see what proportion is owned."
One type of in-house evaluation often used by librarians to assist in
collection maintenance is citation analysis. This technique provides insight
on emerging and obsolescent research areas. Citation analysis is an
excellent unobtrusive method to determine which resources doctoral students
are using (Buttlar 1999). According to Buchanan & Herubel (1994), "regular
in-house collection evaluation enhances the management of collections in any
research library's public service and collection development efforts for
short and long term objectives". The purpose of this study was to analyze
the citations in local chemistry dissertations during the period 1996-2000
to assist the Ohio State University Science & Engineering Library chemical
sciences librarian in determining which materials are most heavily used and
which materials are needed to improve the collection. Material type cited
most, journals cited most, and currency of literature cited most were all
The Science & Engineering Library (SEL) of The Ohio State University (OSU)
serves faculty and students interested in Architecture, Astronomy,
Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Engineering, Geodetic
Science, Mathematics and Physics. The collection of over 350,000 volumes
includes journals, monographs, theses, dissertations, patents, and numerous
microfilm materials. Included within the collection is 24-hour access to
SciFinder Scholar and Beilstein Crossfire. Additionally, the CRC Handbook of
Physics and Chemistry, Dictionary of Organic Compounds, and Dictionary of
Inorganic Compounds are just a few of the heavily used handbooks in the
The Department of Chemistry at OSU is fully accredited by The American
Chemical Society and consistently ranks in the top twenty schools for
excellent graduate programs. (See
<http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/beyond/gradrank/gbchem.htm>.) Roughly 350
graduate students and postdoctoral fellows make up the department. They
conduct research in analytical, biological, environmental, inorganic,
organic, physical, or theoretical and computational chemistry. Approximately
27 chemistry Ph.Ds are granted each year.
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Eugene Garfield, PhD.
Past President, American Society for Information Science and Technology
Chairman Emeritus, ISI www.isinet.com
Publisher, The Scientist www.the-scientist.com
email garfield at codex.cis.upenn.edu
home page: www.eugenegarfield.org
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