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Scholarly communication and authorship patterns in language research: evidences from citation analysis of language theses in Nigeria

Ifeanyi J. Ezema


Investigation into citation and authorship patterns in language and linguistics research is of serious interest to librarians and researchers. The purpose of this paper is to examine scholarly communication behaviour in languages using theses and dissertations to enhance collection development policy in linguistics research. Bibliometric and informetrics indicators were used to examine a total of 87 theses and dissertations submitted to the Department of Linguistics and Nigerian Languages from 2005 to 2014. A retrospective descriptive study was conducted using bibliometric indicators such as types of cited sources, timeliness of cited sources, authorship pattern, rank list of frequently cited books and degree of research collaboration. A total of 5084 bibliographic references were extracted from the theses with an average of 58.4 citations per theses. Books and monographs dominated the entire citations with 63.6% while journal citations were 17.9%. Electronic resources accounted for 15.4% of the citations. This study provides useful evidence to librarians who would be interested in developing the language library collections. Monographs have been found to be more useful for language researchers and collection development librarians will be guided in policy formulation particularly academic libraries where language research needs to be supported. There has been paucity of citation studies in the humanities generally and linguistics in particular. This study is an original research adopting bibliometric approach to examine scholarly communication in language and linguistics using University of Nigeria, Nsukka as a case study.

Keywords: Bibliometrics, Citation Analysis, Authorship Pattern, Information Science, Language Research, Scholarly Communication

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eISSN: 0855-6768
print ISSN: 0855-6768