Dissertation Information for Ali Emdad
- Ali Emdad
- Library and Information Science
- Case Western Reserve University (USA) (1985)
- Christinger L. Tomer
- Richard L. Derr
- Tefko Saracevic
- Leslie Foldy
MPACT Status: Fully Complete
Title: Self-direction in scientific research: a selective analysis of the elite and ultra-elite in American high energy physics
Abstract: In this study, American Nobelists and members of the National Academy of Sciences in the field of high energy physics were considered the ultra-elite and the elite, respectively. This study tested the assertions made by R.R. Merton and Harriet Zuckerman that Nobelists are self-directed investigators through bibliometric analysis of communication attributes that could be measures in their subject literature. Also, they study further explored self-direction in scientific research in relation to recognition; collaboration rates; name-ordering; and levels of literacy productivity, of the American ultra-elite and elite in the field of high energy physics. Self - direction was used synonymously with intellectual independence to mean a scientist's reference to his own ideas which originated in his previous research and was represented by self-citations.
Comprehensive bibliographies of the physicists representing the subject knowledge relating to high energy physics was prepared. citation analysis for the authors of these bibliographies was used to identify the communication patterns among the physicists. Biographical sources were consulted to obtain information on individual physicists.
Results of the investigation showed that: (1) although it is difficult to identify and measure all the possible properties related to a scientific community, one specific bibliometric technique, namely citation analysis, used in the study showed that Nobelists rely on their own previous research to a higher degree than the members of the National Academy of Sciences; (2) recognition of the physicists under study seemed to be related to the self-direction; (3) name-ordering of the physicists in their journal publications; collaboration rate; and their productivity did not exhibit any relationship to self-direction of the physicists. The implications of the study are: (1) the study helps understand the communication system of the ultra-elite and the elite; (2) better understanding of self-citations may contribute to the design of more efficient citation indexed.