Dennis Riley 2014-02-10 17:16:34
Raise your hand if you have not read a book produced by SAA.Dozens of titles have been published in the past two decades, and many of these are staples in graduate and continuing education programs and form the basis for best practice. SAA books spread the word by contributing to professional discourse. As an intern on the SAA Publications Board, I have witnessed firsthand how seriously the board members take their responsibility to ensure that the literature SAA produces meets the needs of the profession. In fact, in an effort to gauge the impact that existing books have had, the board recently asked me to conduct a citation analysis of current SAA titles. The following is based on search results for 68 titles published by SAA retrieved from the Scopus citation database in November 2012. Scopus is the world’s largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature. Some Things to Note A few caveats apply: SAA titles may have been cited in publications not indexed by Scopus, such as Archivaria, or they were cited in a way that they did not come up in a basic title search. Furthermore, I did not differentiate between citations that used editions of titles published by entities other than SAA. For example, Manual for the Arrangement and Description of Archives was cited 29 times for all editions, but the 2003 SAA edition was cited only 9 times.Nevertheless, the following analysis still reflects each title’s relevancy to the field. Titles Cited All but 10 of the 68 SAA titles were cited in articles, conference proceedings, or other publications as indexed by Scopus, which means that 85 percent of SAA publications have been cited at least once. Of the 10 titles that have not been cited, 4 are brochures (2 in Spanish) and 1 is a thesaurus. Another 3 titles were published in 2011 or 2012, which may be too current to have been used as a source by another author. Of the 58 titles that have been cited, 11 have been cited once and another 19 have been cited between 2 and 9 times, which accounts For 52 percent of titles that have been cited. Conversely, 28 (48 percent) of the titles have been cited more than 10 times. The top 5 titles to be cited, 3 of which are out of print but are available electronically, are: All 7 titles in the Archival Fundamental Series II (AFS II) and titles designated as Archival Classics have been cited at least once, with most of them cited 16 times or more. These titles account for 48 percent (13 titles) of the 28 most cited titles. Only 2—1 AFS II (Managing Archival and Manuscript Repositories [Michael J. Kurtz, 2004]) and 1 classic (Lester J. Cappon and the Relationship of History, Archives and Scholarship [Richard J. Cox, Ed., 2004])—have been cited only once. Not surprisingly, of the 795 citations, SAA titles were most frequently cited in The American Archivist, with 232 instances (29 percent). Other journals in which SAA titles were cited 10 or more times include: • Archival Science: 91 instances • Journal of Archival Organization: 76 instances • Journal of the Society of Archivists: 47 instances • Libraries and the Cultural Record: 16 instances • Library Resources and Technical Services: 14 instances • Journal of Information Ethics: 13 instances • Records Management Journal: 13 instances Spreading Our Words continued from page 22 An assortment of other information services–related journals (for example, those covering libraries, computer science, museums, or records management) account for an additional 200 instances.Overall, information management–related journals account for 88 percent of citations. Conversely, this means that 12 percent of citations are from journals outside the general audience of SAA publications. Finally, a number of articles contain multiple citations for SAA publications. In total, 168 different articles account for 450 citations, and thus about a third of the articles account for 57 percent of all citations. Drawing Conclusions So what does all this mean? Probably as much or as little as anyone wants to make of it. It is obvious, however, that SAA publications contribute to a vital professional dialogue. The Publications Board hopes that the new modular approach to publications, as reflected in the recently launched Trends in Archives Practice series, will continue to meet the needs of the profession and add to this robust discourse.
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