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Journal ArticleDOI

Mapping recent information behavior research: an analysis of co-authorship and co-citation networks

TL;DR: According to a bibliometric and network analysis, there is a small number of authors who can be considered to be the most productive and who publish regularly, and a large number of transient ones.
Abstract: There has been an increase in research published on information behavior in recent years, and this has been accompanied by an increase in its diversity and interaction with other fields, particularly information retrieval. The aims of this study are to determine which researchers have contributed to producing the current body of knowledge on this subject, and to describe its intellectual basis. A bibliometric and network analysis was applied to authorship and co-authorship as well as citation and co-citation. According to these analyses, there is a small number of authors who can be considered to be the most productive and who publish regularly, and a large number of transient ones. Other findings reveal a marked predominance of theoretical works, some examples of qualitative methodology that originate in other areas of social science, and a high incidence of research focused on the user interaction with information retrieval systems and the information behavior of doctors.

Summary (2 min read)

Jump to: [Introduction][Materials and methods][Results][Discussion] and [Conclusion]

Introduction

  • These contributions may assist in user research, but as with dynamism and diversity, can also be an obstacle to consolidating the research results achieved in the last few decades.
  • It does not follow that there is in-depth analyses of these models, of the relationship between them, or of the consequences and implications they may have for research or professional practice.
  • The co-citation network obtained from their research reveals the existence of a central nucleus made up of the most commonly cited authors and a periphery consisting of the latest research, which due to its recentness has received few citations.

Materials and methods

  • A bibliometric and network analysis was carried out on IB research published with respect to both authorship and co-authorship, and citations and co-citations in these works.
  • According to Knoke and Yang (2008), the closeness of an actor is a function of their geodesic distance from all other nodes (the shortest distance between two actors).
  • This analysis is based on identifying similar nodes that constitute homogeneous groups with a high degree of relationships between them and which are unlike other groups.
  • Finally, the contents of the most frequently cited bibliographical references were checked, as were the references in each cluster, in order to determine the main subject.
  • In the presentation of the co-authorship network, the size of the nodes refers to the number of papers published by each author, and the thickness of the ties to the intensity of the collaboration.

Results

  • Looking at the number of co-authorships, component 2 is noteworthy, as it includes authors such as Huntington and Nicholas, with 37 works in collaboration; Jamali and Nicholas, with 26; and Huntington and Jamali, with 20.
  • Spink heads the ranking by degree, and occupies the third position in closeness and betweenness.
  • Nevertheless an analysis of the clusters reveals groups of references with similarities (Fig. 4).
  • The second is by Kuhlthau (1991), which presents a model of the Information Seeking Process.

Discussion

  • In fact, only three rank highly in all of the aspects studied, namely Spink, Belkin and Marchionini, all three of whom are strongly associated with the field of information retrieval, and are noted researchers in LIS in general.
  • With regard to theories belonging to other disciplines detectable in the co-citation network, the presence of some is notable, while the absence of others is glaring.
  • This sphere of research, which in Wilson’s (1999) model would correspond to research on ‘‘information searching behavior,’’ is situated in the gray area along the border between information retrieval and information behavior.

Conclusion

  • The authors study has identified a few researchers who have been more prominent than others in IB research since the beginning of the twenty first century.
  • At the same time, the field is anything but cohesive, with many dispersed groups of minor researchers who have also contributed to the field’s development.
  • With regard to the intellectual basis, although there is cohesion here, it does not necessarily indicate the existence of a single paradigm, given the theoretical diversity the authors found.

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1 23
Scientometrics
An International Journal for all
Quantitative Aspects of the Science of
Science, Communication in Science and
Science Policy
ISSN 0138-9130
Scientometrics
DOI 10.1007/s11192-015-1548-z
Mapping recent information behavior
research: an analysis of co-authorship and
co-citation networks
Aurora González-Teruel, Gregorio
González-Alcaide, Maite Barrios &
María-Francisca Abad-García

1 23
Your article is protected by copyright and
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publication is available at link.springer.com”.

Mapping recent information behavior research:
an analysis of co-authorship and co-citation networks
Aurora Gonza
´
lez-Teruel
Gregorio Gonza
´
lez-Alcaide
Maite Barrios
Marı
´
a-Francisca Abad-Garcı
´
a
Received: 30 September 2014
Ó Akade
´
miai Kiado
´
, Budapest, Hungary 2015
Abstract There has been an increase in research published on information behavior in
recent years, and this has been accompanied by an increase in its diversity and interaction
with other fields, particularly information retrieval. The aims of this study are to determine
which researchers have contributed to producing the current body of knowledge on this
subject, and to describe its intellectual basis. A bibliometric and network analysis was
applied to authorship and co-authorship as well as citation and co-citation. According to
these analyses, there is a small number of authors who can be considered to be the most
productive and who publish regularly, and a large number of transient ones. Other findings
reveal a marked predominance of theoretical works, some examples of qualitative
methodology that originate in other areas of social science, and a high incidence of re-
search focused on the user interaction with information retrieval systems and the infor-
mation behavior of doctors.
Keywords Information behavior Research fields Co-authorships Co-citation analysis
A. Gonza
´
lez-Teruel G. Gonza
´
lez-Alcaide (&) M.-F. Abad-Garcı
´
a
History of Science and Documentation Department, University of Valencia,
Blasco Iban
˜
ez, 17, 46010 Valencia, Spain
e-mail: gregorio.Gonzalez@uv.es
A. Gonza
´
lez-Teruel
e-mail: agonzal@uv.es
M.-F. Abad-Garcı
´
a
e-mail: abad@uv.es
M. Barrios
Department of Methodology of Behavioral Science, University of Barcelona,
Passeig de La Vall d’Hebron 171, 08035 Barcelona, Spain
e-mail: mbarrios@ub.edu
123
Scientometrics
DOI 10.1007/s11192-015-1548-z
Author's personal copy

Introduction
Following Wilson (1999), information behavior (IB) research may be considered the
general term for a series of nested fields, including the sub-field of information seeking
behavior, which is particularly concerned with the variety of methods people employ to
discover and gain access to information resources. In turn, information searching behavior
is defined as a branch of information seeking that studies the interaction between the
information user and computer-based information systems, including information retrieval
systems for textual data (Wilson 1999).
The need for a theoretical and methodological basis to orient research into IB has been
one of the recurrent subjects in the specialized literature since the second half of the
twentieth century. Indeed, there has been an almost exponential increase in publications on
this subject since the 1990s (Wilson 2008). Currently, the field of IB has achieved its own
identity within the ambit of research into library and information science (LIS) (Milojevic
´
et al. 2011). It is characterized, among other things, by being permeable to the focus of
other disciplines, so it is common to find research published with several theoretical
contributions and methodologies deriving from disciplines such as psychology, sociology,
anthropology and education, among others.
In the 1990s, McKechnie et al. (2001) demonstrated the importance of the use of theory
in user research. More recently, however, this emphasis on theory has resulted in the
publication of well-known references presenting numerous metatheories, theories and
models that largely derive from other social sciences (Fisher et al. 2005; Talja et al. 2005;
Wilson 2013). These contributions may assist in user research, but as with dynamism and
diversity, can also be an obstacle to consolidating the research results achieved in the last
few decades. Thus Vakkari (2008) stated that the continuous appearance of new theories
did not allow for previously developed theoretical models to be properly tested and
validated. Although the publication of such models is frequent, it does not follow that there
is in-depth analyses of these models, of the relationship between them, or of the conse-
quences and implications they may have for research or professional practice. There are,
however, exceptions to this lack of in-depth review, including critical research that
questions the value of widely accepted theoretical models (most of which are rooted in a
constructivist or cognitive tradition) when applied to the study of the production and
exchange of knowledge in the context of the social media or online communities (Olsson
2012). This line of research even questions whether user-centered studies are in fact
intended to serve user needs at all, or just those of the system itself (Tuominen 1997).
This recent emphasis on theory would not have been possible without an orientation
towards the social sciences and a novel qualitative focus on user research (Ellis 2011),
which replaced the hegemony of quantitative research by means of a variety of method-
ologies for the study of IB (McKechnie et al. 2002). Although these new methodological
approaches have introduced greater rigor in research design, they are not immune to
criticism either. Davenport (2010), when analyzing some of the methods used to carry out
user research in the context of everyday life, labels these methods as confessional, as they
are designed to shed light on hidden facts and meanings, allowing the researcher to obtain
information on activities and mental attitudes that are not directly observable. Olsson
(2006) claims that these results produce a representation of the social interaction between
the researcher and the researched, not the cognitive structures of the user. For this reason,
Julien et al. (2013) advocate the adoption of an emic focus that truly represents the user’s
point of view.
Scientometrics
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Author's personal copy

Given this situation, it becomes clear that the study of IB, far from displaying uniform
theoretical and methodological assumptions, includes many researchers with greatly dif-
fering approaches. Although this could be considered to be a positive characteristic for the
added value it brings to empirical research, it also makes it difficult to obtain an overview
of the variety of different perspectives that are being developed internationally. There is,
therefore, a danger of designing research with a limited perspective that lacks in-depth
knowledge of the work of others in the field. Similarly, it increases the difficulty of taking
previous findings into account when proposing novel approaches that produce new
knowledge. Most importantly, the lack of a complete overall map of IB research hinders its
critical analysis, impeding the objective evaluation of research value beyond questions of
the status of a particular investigator or current academic trends.
During the last century, the various chapters dedicated to user research in the Annual
Review of Information Science and Technology (e.g. Fisher and Julien 2011) fulfilled an
important role in updating and revising the progress of knowledge in this field. Similarly,
reviews by Julien (1996), Julien and Duggan (2000), and Julien et al. (2011) presented an
overview of almost 20 years of research. Likewise, Case (2012) presents an extensive and
comprehensive overview of the foundations of user research over more than half a century.
Aside from bibliographical reviews, content analysis or monographs, however, adopting a
bibliometric focus and network analysis would help provide a general map of this specific
field by clarifying and visually illustrating its intellectual basis.
There is little research that has analyzed the international literature published on IB
using bibliometrics and network analysis, with notable exceptions such as the study by
McKechnie et al. (2005). They analyzed the citations in 155 important articles published in
this field between 1993 and 2000 and conducted a co-citation analysis of references in-
cluded in the citing articles. The co-citation network obtained from their research reveals
the existence of a central nucleus made up of the most commonly cited authors and a
periphery consisting of the latest research, which due to its recentness has received few
citations. This study also revealed a sub-discipline related to the internet and electronic
communication. More recently, Li-Ping (2010), using specialized literature retrieved from
the LISA database up to 2008, studied co-authorship networks as well as the position that
particular researchers occupy within it, identifying the most prominent among them as well
as the theoretical models used and the contexts in which they carry out their research. For
this investigator (2010), the most prominent authors that represent the mainstream research
in this area include Amanda Spink, Reijo Savolainen, David Nicholas, Tom D. Wilson,
David Ellis, Carol C. Kulthau and Gary Marchionini. Similarly, Chang (2011) compared
the characteristics of research articles on information needs and information seeking
published from 1962 to 2009 and found on the Web of Science. Their analysis shows a
high percentage of studies published in medical journals as well as low levels of col-
laboration among authors (average between one and two authors per work) and of inter-
national collaboration. Finally, Jamali (2013) carried out an analysis of citations and
bibliographic coupling with the aim of establishing what constitutes the core knowledge,
the origin and the diachronic development of the theories used, using as material 51 of the
108 theoretical works identified by Houston (2009). The origin is basically situated within
LIS, but some theories also sprung from other fields such as psychology and sociology.
With this in mind, the objective of our study is to elucidate the structure and intellectual
basis of IB research, presenting an up-to-date and complete overview of the field that
answers the following research questions:
Scientometrics
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Author's personal copy

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Abstract: 本文对国际科学计量学杂志《Scientometrics》1979-1991年的研究论文内容、栏目、作者及国别和编委及国别作了计量分析,揭示出科学计量学研究的重点、活动的中心及发展趋势,说明了学科带头人在发展科学计量学这门新兴学科中的作用。

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Abstract: The recent appearance of low cost Virtual Reality (VR) technologies – like the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive and the Sony PlayStation VR – and Mixed Reality Interfaces (MRITF) – like the Hololens – is attracting the attention of users and researchers suggesting it may be the next largest stepping stone in technological innovation. However, the history of VR technology is longer than it may seem: the concept of VR was formulated in the 1960s and the first commercial VR tools appeared in the late 1980s. For this reason, during the last twentyyears, hundreds of researchers explored the processes, effects and applications of this technology producing thousands of scientific papers. What is the outcome of this significant research work? This paper wants to provide an answer to this question by exploring, using advanced scientometric techniques, the existing research corpus in the field. We collected all the existent articles about VR in the Web of Science Core Collection scientific database, and the resultant dataset contained 21,667 records for VR and 9,944 for AR. The bibliographic record contained various fields, such as author, title, abstract, country, and all the references (needed for the citation analysis). The network and cluster analysis of the literature showed a composite panorama characterized by evolutions over the time. Indeed, whether until five years ago, the main publication media on VR concerned both conference proceeding and journals, more recently journals constitute the main medium. Similarly, if at first computer science was the leading research field, nowadays clinical areas increased, as well as the number of countries involved in virtual reality research. The present work discusses the evolution of the use of virtual reality in the main areas of application with an emphasis on the future expected virtual reality’s capacities, increases and challenges. We conclude considering the disruptive contribution that VR/AR/MRITF will be able to get in scientific fields, as well in human communication and interaction, as already happened with the advent of mobile phones by increasing the use and the development of scientific applications (e.g. in clinical areas) and by modifying the social communication and interaction among people.

479 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
11 Dec 2015-PLOS ONE
TL;DR: The analysis of 28,670 documents sheds light on different aspects related to the evolution of scientific collaboration in the field, including the progressive increase in the mean number of co-authors, and the rise in multi-authored papers signed by many different authors.
Abstract: Background Although researchers have worked in collaboration since the origins of modern science and the publication of the first scientific journals in the eighteenth century, this phenomenon has acquired exceptional importance in the last several decades. Since the mid-twentieth century, new knowledge has been generated from within an ever-growing network of investigators, working cooperatively in research groups across countries and institutions. Cooperation is a crucial determinant of academic success. Objective The aim of the present paper is to analyze the evolution of scientific collaboration at the micro level, with regard to the scientific production generated on psoriasis research. Methods A bibliographic search in the Medline database containing the MeSH terms "psoriasis" or "psoriatic arthritis" was carried out. The search results were limited to articles, reviews and letters. After identifying the co-authorships of documents on psoriasis indexed in the Medline database (1942-2013), various bibliometric indicators were obtained, including the average number of authors per document and degree of multi-authorship over time. In addition, we performed a network analysis to study the evolution of certain features of the co-authorship network as a whole: average degree, size of the largest component, clustering coefficient, density and average distance. We also analyzed the evolution of the giant component to characterize the changing research patterns in the field, and we calculated social network indicators for the nodes, namely betweenness and closeness. Results The main active research clusters in the area were identified, along with their authors of reference. Our analysis of 28,670 documents sheds light on different aspects related to the evolution of scientific collaboration in the field, including the progressive increase in the mean number of co-authors (which stood at 5.17 in the 2004-2013 decade), and the rise in multi-authored papers signed by many different authors (in the same decade, 25.77% of the documents had between 6 and 9 co-authors, and 10.28% had 10 or more). With regard to the network indicators, the average degree gradually increased up to 10.97 in the study period. The percentage of authors pertaining to the largest component also rose to 73.02% of the authors. The clustering coefficient, on the other hand, remained stable throughout the entire 70-year period, with values hovering around 0.9. Finally, the average distance peaked in the decades 1974-1983 (8.29) and 1984-2003 (8.12) then fell over the next two decades, down to 5.25 in 2004-2013. The construction of the co-authorship network (threshold of collaboration ≥ 10 co-authored works) revealed a giant component of 161 researchers, containing 6 highly cohesive sub-components. Conclusions Our study reveals the existence of a growing research community in which collaboration is increasingly important. We can highlight an essential feature associated with scientific collaboration: multi-authored papers, with growing numbers of collaborators contributing to them, are becoming more and more common, therefore the formation of research groups of increasing depth (specialization) and breadth (multidisciplinarity) is now a cornerstone of research success.

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TL;DR: Regression analyses suggest that perceived ease of use may actually be a causal antecdent to perceived usefulness, as opposed to a parallel, direct determinant of system usage.

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TL;DR: In this article, the authors developed and validated new scales for two specific variables, perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use, which are hypothesized to be fundamental determinants of user acceptance.
Abstract: Valid measurement scales for predicting user acceptance of computers are in short supply. Most subjective measures used in practice are unvalidated, and their relationship to system usage is unknown. The present research develops and validates new scales for two specific variables, perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use, which are hypothesized to be fundamental determinants of user acceptance. Definitions of these two variables were used to develop scale items that were pretested for content validity and then tested for reliability and construct validity in two studies involving a total of 152 users and four application programs. The measures were refined and streamlined, resulting in two six-item scales with reliabilities of .98 for usefulness and .94 for ease of use. The scales exhibited hgih convergent, discriminant, and factorial validity. Perceived usefulness was significnatly correlated with both self-reported current usage r = .63, Study 1) and self-predicted future usage r = .85, Study 2). Perceived ease of use was also significantly correlated with current usage r = .45, Study 1) and future usage r = .59, Study 2). In both studies, usefulness had a signficnatly greater correaltion with usage behavior than did ease of use. Regression analyses suggest that perceived ease of use may actually be a causal antecdent to perceived usefulness, as opposed to a parallel, direct determinant of system usage. Implications are drawn for future research on user acceptance.

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