Towards Knowledge Democracy conference (1): Bibliometrics

Last week, Iina Hellsten of the Athena Institute and I made a presentation at the Towards Knowledge Democracy conference on the subject of ‘Development cooperation: bibliometric approach to examine knowledge and communications.’

Below you should see the embedded presentation from Slideshare (and if this works it is a really nice feature!)

In this presentation, we really only presented the very first part of our collaboration to which Iina provides the knowledge of the methodologies of bibliometrics (citation analysis and semantics maps etc) and I provide some understanding of development cooperation. I’m very excited about the potential of this approach to make visible the invisible structures of knowledge and communication across the development field.

Our findings to date will not really surprise you but they are interesting, I think:

  • Only 20% of authors in three top development journals on the Web of Science come from developing countries
  • Of the top 10 institutional affiliations, only one of these journals, namely Development and Change has an developing country institution (University of Delhi) in the top 10.

For this presentation, Iina also generated a number of semantic maps from publications from the domains of research (academic journals), policy (the newsletter of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and from the media (newspapers) in the Netherlands to consider and compare the emerging patterns. Preliminary conclusions include:

  • The research domain appears to be fragmented, emerging and unstructured (with geographical location being particularly important).
  • The media appears to focused on popular issues (pop groups, television programmes) and political spectacles, with high numbers of articles being repeated in multiple locations. The opinion pages also generated a high-level of negative words in the headlines.
  • Not surprisingly, the policy domain shows a focus on relevant Ministers (Balkenende, Koenders) and current events.

One of our other conclusions was that the field of practice appears to be the ‘neglected child’ (we translated this from the Dutch ondergeschoven kindje) because the outputs of the practice field are less accessible, often being grey literature. The presentation above gives a little more background to how we reached these preliminary conclusions.

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One Response

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