Education for Information Call for Papers: Special Issue on Bibliometrics Education

Dangzhi Zhao dzhao at UALBERTA.CA
Fri Feb 27 12:08:56 EST 2015

Journal *Education for Information*


Call for Papers: Special Issue on Bibliometrics Education


Citation analysis and other bibliometric methods and techniques have been
used in research evaluation exercises around the globe, directly affecting
the work and lives of millions of researchers and the expenditure of
billions of dollars. Formal education and training in Bibliometrics,
however, is seriously lacking. In the field of library and information
science (LIS), the traditional home of Bibliometrics education, for
example, very few courses related to Bibliometrics are offered (Beheshti,
2011; Zhao, 2011) and there have been very few faculty positions requiring
expertise in Bibliometrics in North America.

Most people who provide bibliometrics services acquired their bibliometrics
knowledge and skills on the job through self-training or training provided
by vendors and suppliers of citation databases or evaluation systems,
according to a survey of 140 libraries in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland,
and the United Kingdom (Corrall, Kennan, & Afzal, 2013). An examination of
Bibliometrics researchers reveals a wide diversity in their educational
background, from sociology, chemistry, mathematics, computing science,
management, to LIS. It is curious how they have obtained their knowledge
and skills of Bibliometrics.

It is not an easy task to perform research or provide services in the area
of Bibliometrics, and a range of competencies is required to do
Bibliometrics properly (Corrall, Kennan, & Afzal, 2013). In addition to a
good understanding of Bibliometrics theory, methods, techniques, tools, and
applications, skills in quantitative methods and techniques are a must-have
for most bibliometric analyses, and subject/disciplinary (e.g., chemistry,
biology) knowledge is required to make bibliometric analyses go beyond
generic and superficial descriptions and become appropriate, pertinent and
useful for the fields being studied. In addition, it is important to
understand the local and broad contexts in which Bibliometrics is studied
or used, which include the scholarly communication system, the purposes and
motives of research evaluation, as well as the structure, policy, missions
/ goals and needs of the institutions being studied or served.

Clearly, Bibliometric studies and services are complex, requiring a variety
of competencies; the demand for and impact of bibliometric analyses and
services have been increasing; and the current status of Bibliometrics
education is crying out for improvement. Bibliometrics education should
therefore be brought to the urgent agenda of the bibliometrics and research
evaluation communities if Bibliometrics is to become a profession and to
prove its value to the organizations it serves and to society. This is
because the value of the Bibliometrics profession depends very much on the
capabilities of its practicing individuals and institutions, as much as it
does on a set of common standards and best practices that they can follow
which have been the topic of heated discussions in recent years such as the
2014 Leiden Manifesto (Borner, Lariviere, Scharnhorst, & Wagner, 2013;
Rafols, de Rijcke, & Wouters, 2014).

*Research questions*

This special issue on Bibliometrics Education aims to explore how to
improve the capabilities of the Bibliometrics profession through education
and training. Conceptual, theoretical as well as empirical papers are all
welcomed. Questions of interest include but are not limited to the

1.     Current status

a.     Where have Bibliometrics researchers and professionals been getting
their education and training in Bibliometrics?

b.     What are the pros and cons of these types of education and training
for performing bibliometrics properly?

c.     In particular, what are the implications of relying on training
provided by the vendors and providers of citation databases and evaluation

2.     Proper place

a.     Where should Bibliometrics education be placed in the current
education system? Is there a perfect home for it?

b.     Should Bibliometrics education programs be monitored and certified?
By whom?

c.     What is a proper place for Bibliometrics education in the field of
LIS if it continues to stay there?

d.     How promising is it to teach Bibliometrics as part of an
interdisciplinary Data Science degree program?

3.     Paths forward

a.     How can we bring Bibliometrics education from its current state to a
proper place? What could a realistic and effective path look like?

b.     What are the problems that face Bibliometrics Education and how can
they be overcome?

4.     Competencies and curricula

a.     Which professional competencies does Bibliometrics require? How can
they be identified properly?

b.     Is it time to work on a curriculum for Bibliometrics education? What
could it look like?

*Deadlines and Submission Instructions*

Papers should address the aims of this call, and should follow the normal
format for the journal *Education for Information* as detailed at The final
deadline for submission of full papers for review is May 31, 2015.

*Dangzhi Zhao, Ph.D.*

*Guest Editor*

Associate Professor

School of Library and Information Studies

University of Alberta, Canada

dzhao at


Beheshti, J. (2011). Presentation at the "Bibliometrics and LIS education:
How do they fit together?" *Panel of the ASIS&T 2011 Annual Meeting*,
October 9-12, 2011, New Orleans, LA, USA.

Borner, K., Lariviere, V., Scharnhorst, A., & Wagner, C. (2013). Standards
for Science Mapping and Classifications. *ISSI 2013 Workshop*, Vienna,

Rafols, I., de Rijcke, S., & Wouters, P. (2014). Quality standards for
evaluation: Any chance of a dream come true? *The plenary session at the
2014 STI conference*, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Corrall, S., Kennan, M.A., & Afzal, W. (2013). Bibliometrics and Research
Data Management Services: Emerging Trends in Library Support for
Research. *Library
Trends, 61* (3), 636-674.

Zhao, D. (2011). Bibliometrics and LIS education: How do they fit
together? *Panel
of the ASIS&T 2011 Annual Meeting*, October 9-12, 2011, New Orleans, LA,

Dangzhi Zhao
Associate Professor
School of Library and Information Studies
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Canada

Tel. 1-780-4922814
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