- Bibliometrics: Methods and Applications
- No.12, p.109-141
In this paper, the author reviews the methods of bibliometrics and its applications.
Analysis of written communication is an essential tool to elucidate the characteristics of science, scientists and scientific literature. Part of this theme has been studied as the statistical bibliography concerned with gross trends of scientific progress, and as reference counting performed by library scientists. Recently, these two areas have been united and named ‘bibliometrics’
Many factors have contributed to the formation of this branch of study; claims for the fundamental theory of library and information science, and the recognition of the importance of systems approach and user study for solving library problems.
However, because the term ‘bibliometric’ is used exclusively in the library science field, this subject tends to be restricted to the problems of selection of journals in the library. But the scope of the applications of bibliometrics should not be restricted. The usefulness of the methods has also been recognized by sociologists and historians of science and they provided us with many useful findings.
The main topic of bibliometrics is the Bradford's law of scattering. Although his motivation of the study was to perform complete documentation, it is considered as the useful means to select scientific journals in the library. But the law involves some ambiguities and limitations. The law could have been useful if it were combined with the methods of systems analysis.
The methods of bibliometrics can be applied to classification of scientific papers, elucidation of the characteristics of scientific journals and disciplines, analysis and prediction of scientific progress, selection and retirement of scientific journals in the library, and checking up of defects of bibliographical services.