1st Edition

Scientometrics for the Humanities and Social Sciences

ISBN 9780367627010
Published November 9, 2020 by Routledge
170 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations

USD $48.95

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Book Description

Scientometrics for the Humanities and Social Sciences is the first ever book on scientometrics that deals with the historical development of both quantitative and qualitative data analysis in scientometric studies. It focuses on its applicability in new and emerging areas of inquiry.

This important book presents the inherent potential for data mining and analysis of qualitative data in scientometrics. The author provides select cases of scientometric studies in the humanities and social sciences, explaining their research objectives, sources of data and methodologies. It illustrates how data can be gathered not only from prominent online databases and repositories, but also from journals that are not stored in these databases. With the support of specific examples, the book shows how data on demographic variables can be collected to supplement scientometric data.

The book deals with a research methodology which has an increasing applicability not only to the study of science, but also to the study of the disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.

Table of Contents


About the Book

  1. Scientometrics: An Introduction
  2. Applications and Uses of Scientometrics
  3. Scientometrics in the Humanities and Social Sciences
  4. Cases of Scientometric Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences
  5. Data: Sources, Processing and Analysis


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R. Sooryamoorthy is Professor of Sociology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. A scientist accredited to the National Research Foundation, he is the coauthor of Science in Participatory Development (1994) and author of Transforming Science in South Africa (2015) and Science, Policy and Development in Africa (2020).


"I am very impressed by the monograph Scientometrics for the Humanities and Social Sciences by R. Sooryamoorthy. It is the first monograph on Scientometrics I am aware of that is devoted exclusively to the use of scientometric techniques in the study of the humanities and social sciences. It aims to unfold the potential of these techniques to a wide audience. A most interesting and unique feature of the book is the well-designed presentation of a large number of cases illustrating both the methodology itself as well as its application in the study of the development of humanities and social sciences and its numerous subject fields, and in the assessment of research activity and performance. Most importantly, it dedicates attention not only to the potential of these techniques, but also to its limitations and pitfalls. This makes the monograph a valuable and useful piece of work, unmissable for librarians, research managers and policy makers, and researchers in the domain of humanities and social sciences who aim to enlarge their understanding of the uses and limits of scientometric techniques in these domains of science and scholarship." -- Henk F. Moed, Formerly at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS), Leiden University, the Netherlands

"Scientometric analyses seem straightforward given the availability of apparently clear metrics (on production, citation and other operations of science). And indeed, measurement systems and underlying data collections are continually developing to cope with various difficulties they still face. But, whereas the use of such metrics works quite well for natural science, their application to the social sciences and even worse for the humanities is bedeviled by a further array of problems. Prof. Sooryamoorthy’s book takes us through such issues, placing them in historical context. This guide will be invaluable to neophyte analysts wishing to measure social science." -- Charles Crothers, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

"Scientometrics for the Humanities and Social Sciences provides a compendious overview of the origin of scientometrics and is a perfect collection of illustrative case studies that can guide social scientists to explore their own research fields." -- Valeria Aman, German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW), Germany

"The field of Scientometrics has cross disciplinary aetiology and relevance especially, within the fields of information systems, information science (particularly bibliometrics and informetrics), science policy, sociology, and other cognate sciences. Therefore, the criticality and potential use of this book in diverse disciplines cannot be underestimated. Furthermore, the increasing importance and the need to report accurately scientific and knowledge production as evidenced in the global ranking of universities that rely largely on scientometric techniques is yet another milestone this book has scaled. The field of Scientometrics is quite technical and only a few books are published in this area. The aspects on qualitative and quantitative methodologies and scenario-based examples used to illustrate phenomenon in the book are quite illuminating. The empirical approach of the book provides great validation of not just what is just said but also what is measured as well. The book is in addition well illustrated. This book should find favour with a wide range of scholars, businesses, professional societies, universities, national bibliographic systems, indexing and bibliometric systems. The knowledge economy in which the means of productions is dependent on knowledge production and how this can be measured is yet another milestone covered by the book. I wish to encourage academics from across different disciplines to read the book." -- Stephen Mutula, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

"The book will be very useful for researchers and students to understand scientometric tools and techniques. This is one of the very few books available globally to give an overall view of the subject. Hence, this is a highly recommended book for both basic and advanced level learners in the field for a holistic understanding of the subject." --SWAPAN KUMAR PATRA , Tshwane University of Technology Pretoria, South Africa