Wednesday, June 21, 2006

With Malice Towards None; And Citations for All

How many library technicians does it take to change a lightbulb?
Seven. One to follow approved procedure, and six to review the procedure. (8 if you count the librarian they all report to)

Three library-interest blogs [1, 2, 3], post this humorous quote on Library Technicians.

My question is, how often do librarians cite the sight or insight they recieve from others? I ask this because, what you speak or write has its origin somewhere [I quote from a blog: "Not truly original ideas, of course -- you're lucky to be blessed with one or two of those in a lifetime, as Norman Mailer noted somewhere; just something -- the product of a reaction, perhaps, between a thought heard and a fact read -- that seemed to have a new and interesting configuration"]. This concept comes, I believe, has a Buddhist inspiration (I would appreciate if someone confirms this source).

Incidentally, ONLY ONE Blog quotes the original source of the humor; and the source is IFLANET: Library Humour ... if we can't laugh at ourselves, who can?

Bu the way, it is a fact, that it was the world of librarians and information scientists, who initiated studies about value of citations (including research methods such as, citation behavior, citation analysis, Scientometrics, Bibliometics, Infometrics, Impact factors, information seeking behavior, etc.).

  • Just-in-case you are in deep thiking about this subject of citations, see the following article: PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION THROUGH JOURNAL ARTICLES, by Maxine K. Rochester, 61st IFLA General Conference - Conference Proceedings - August 20-25, 1995. [Interestingly, the paper begins with a quote: A field's interest in its own scholarly communication is a sign of its maturity]. See also: Higher education as a maturing field? Evidence from referencing practices, by Robert J. Silverman. Research in Higher Education

  • Three options for citation tracking: Google Scholar, Scopus and Web of Science, by Nisa Bakkalbasi, et al, Biomedical Digital Libraries 2006, 3:7 doi:10.1186/1742-5581-3-7
    Abstract: Researchers turn to citation tracking to find the most influential articles for a particular topic and to see how often their own published papers are cited. For years researchers looking for this type of information had only one resource to consult: the Web of Science from Thomson Scientific. In 2004 two competitors emerged – Scopus from Elsevier and Google Scholar from Google. The research reported here uses citation analysis in an observational study examining these three databases; comparing citation counts for articles from two disciplines (oncology and condensed matter physics) and two years (1993 and 2003) to test the hypothesis that the different scholarly publication coverage provided by the three search tools will lead to different citation counts from each.

    When in doubt about a citing technique (or citing impact) ask the Guru, Eugene Garfield, Ph.D.
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