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Are library and information science journals more internationalized? -- A longitudinal study of authors' geographical affiliations in 20 LIS journals from 1980 to 2003

Sin, Sei-Ching Joanna. School of Library and Information Studies. University of Wisconsin Madison.

Sparking Synergies: Bringing Research and Practice Together @ ASIST '05 (ASIS&T 2005)
Westin Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, October 28 - November 2, 2005


The international production, distribution and consumption of scientific knowledge have long fascinated researchers in bibliometrics and in scholarly communication. Studies in the 1970s showed that the international flow of scientific information was highly uneven. Recently, the advancement in communication technology and the rise of globalization have led to an optimism of a more balanced flow of scientific knowledge. This study examined the level of internationalization in formal scientific communication by analyzing publications in the field of library and information science (LIS) produced during the last two decades (1980-2003).The geographical affiliations of authors in 20 international LIS journals were analyzed. Findings suggest that there was an increase in the internationalization of LIS authorships over the years. However, the LIS authorship distribution was still highly uneven in 2003 (Gini coefficient = 0.95). Economic power is found to be a moderate predictor of publication performance. Compared to authors from developed nations, authors from developing countries had fewer articles published, and their articles were also less cited. The findings of this study suggest that, at the moment of the writing, there is still room for the LIS field to be more internationalized. To identify and overcome the barriers in international scholarly communication, further research is called for.

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