Research Article: “Science and its Significant Other: Representing the Humanities in Bibliometric Scholarship” (Preprint)
The following article (preprint) was recently shared by the authors on arXiv.
Science and its Significant Other: Representing the Humanities in Bibliometric Scholarship
October 11, 2017
Bibliometrics offers a particular representation of science. Through bibliometric methods a bibliometrician will always highlight particular elements of publications, and through these elements operationalize particular representations of science, while obscuring other possible representations from view. Understanding bibliometrics as representation implies that a bibliometric analysis is always performative: a bibliometric analysis brings a particular representation of science into being that potentially influences the science system itself. In this review we analyze the ways the humanities have been represented throughout the history of bibliometrics, often in comparison to other scientific domains or to a general notion of the sciences. Our review discusses bibliometric scholarship between 1965 and 2016 that studies the humanities empirically. We distinguish between two periods of bibliometric scholarship. The first period, between 1965 and 1989, is characterized by a sociological theoretical framework, the development and use of the Price index, and small samples of journal publications as data sources. The second period, from the mid-1980s up until the present day, is characterized by a new hinterland, that of science policy and research evaluation, in which bibliometric methods become embedded.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.