Journal of Information Resources Management ›› 2019, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (4): 132-141.doi: 10.13365/j.jirm.2019.04.132

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Field Distribution and Hotspots Analysis of Empirical Research Methods Applied in Library and Information Science

Zhao Youlin1 Ge Mengzhen2 Liu Liming2   

  1. 1. Business school of Hohai University, Nanjing, 211100; 2. School of Information Management, Nanjing University, Nanjiang,210023
  • Received:2018-11-06 Online:2019-11-21 Published:2019-11-22

Abstract: To help researchers select more appropriate research areas and methods, this paper analyzed the distribution of research methods, areas and hotspots of articles applicating empirical research methods in the field of Library and Information Science(LIS). 759 articles in the top 10 journals from 2008 to 2017 of Web of Science database were selected, and content analysis and descriptive statistical analysis were used to compare and analyze empirical research methods used in the research papers of the investigated journals. Based on cluster and multi-dimensional analysis of the investigated papers’ key-words, this paper summarized the current research hotspots in the field. The top two most frequently used research methods were survey method and statistical analysis, while the field survey was the least one among all methods. In terms of research areas, the informatrics, knowledge management and competitive intelligence are the most two valued fields, and the information resources managent was the fastest growing one. According to the hot spot distribution, three hot topics in LIS are pointed out which are application of information technology, webometrics, and knowledge management cooperation in social media.

Key words: Library and information science, Empirical research, Research methods, Content analysis, Cluster analysis

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