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Scholarly Literature in Social Sciences: A Developmental Perspective

International Journal of Knowledge Management and Practices

Volume 2 Issue 1

Published: 2014
Author(s) Name: Refhat-un-Nisa, Asmat Ali, Umeera Farooq | Author(s) Affiliation:
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Abstract

Purpose: The present study explores the growth and development of Social Science literature and presents an overall look on the scholarly literature and its various facets. Design/ Methodology/ Approach: Data for the study were harvested from SCOPUS. Scopus being one of the largest bibliographic indexing and abstracting database provides coverage on various subjects like Health Sciences, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences and many more. Categorization and sub-categorization of the research publication were done on the basis of subjects covered and it was found that certain number of research contributions presents themselves in more than one subject area so the calculation done exceeded the actual number of publications. Findings: The findings clearly show that maximum number of publications (6351) in the field of Social Sciences are published together with other sciences be it Physical, Life or Health Sciences. A small proportion (2322) showed individual identity. In sub-categorization of Social Science majority of literature was published in Arts and Humanities (2701) followed by Business, Management and Accounting(1320) and Psychology (1202). Most of the literature was published from European Continent with 4761 (54.75%) publication, followed by North America with 3125 (36%) publications in total. Country-wise United States ranked 1st with 2921(33.67%) publications, United Kingdom ranked 2nd and Netherland ranked 3rd with 2123(24.47%) and 687(7.92%) publications simultaneously. The open access assessment showed that a very less portion of literature 598,(6.90%) was published in open access medium out of which 566 publications was made available through DOAJ (Directory of Open Access journals), rest 8075(93.1%) was subscription based. Out of the total number of publications, 7447 (85.86%) were active till date, while 1226 (14.14%) publications showed inactive status. Academic Journals once again acted as the main medium of scholarly communication and accounted for 94% (8153) of the total followed by trade Journals 245 (2.82%), book series 238 (2.76%) and Conference proceedings 37 (0.42%). The results also revealed that the literature published in this discipline showed a slow start but the publications started doubling in the latter part of 19th century. In terms of SJR (Scientific Journal Ranking) the results achieved were not much satisfactory; however improvement can be seen from 2011 to 2012, but there is much needed to be done in terms of quality of publications. Research limitations/implications: The study was carried over the data harvested from SCOPUS only and it did not explore the whole World Wide Web.

Keywords: Social Sciences, Scopus, Scholarly Literature, SJR, Scholarly Metrics

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