Malaysian Journal of Library & Information Science
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Article Information
Title:Characteristics of Citations Used by Humanities Researchers
Auhtor(s): Zainab Awang Ngah ,Sook Sze Goi ,
Journal:Malaysian Journal of Library & Information Science
Volume:2, No 2
Keywords:Humanities; Citation analysis; Authorship pattern; Journal ranking; Bradfords’s analysis; Age distribution of literature; Half-life of citations; Language distribution of citations; Geographical distribution of citations; Subject distribution of citations
Abstract:Analysis of 5,610 citations from 104 master's degree and doctoral dissertations submitted to the University of Malaya between 1984 and 1994 in the humanities (religion and philosophy; history; language and literature) has been conducted. The average citation per dissertation in various humanities fields, are 56.7 for religion and philosophy; 102 for history and 45.3 for language and literature. Over 52% (2,927) of the citations were to books, 23.55% (1,321) to journal articles, 9.43% (529) to book chapters and 6.24% (350) to theses. A total of 4,766 (89.94%) authors of the citations were single authors and 700 authors formed the core authors contributing a total of 2,160 (36.59%) of total citations. The use by humanities researchers of a wider number of journals and book titles indicate that they need to use a greater number of sources for their research information needs. More than 50% of the citations aged between 1 to 20 years and some more than 100 years. Researchers use a high percentage of documents in the English language even though about 66% of the dissertations were written in the Malay language. The references by and large are of Malaysian or Asian in origin reflecting resource needs of these researchers.

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