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Dissertation Information for Mengxiong Liu

NAME:
- Mengxiong Liu

DEGREE:
- Ph.D.

DISCIPLINE:
- Library and Information Science

SCHOOL:
- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (USA) (1990)

ADVISORS:
- Carolyn O. Frost

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
- Frederick Lewis Goodman
- Joan C. Durrance
- Joseph William Janes

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: The citation process in scientific communication: An analysis of citer motivation and citation characteristics of Chinese physicists

Abstract: A crucial aspect in the creation and dissemination of information is the use of citation--references made in published books and articles to the writings of other authors. Numerous studies have sought to understand the relationships between the practice of citation and those documents cited in scientific literature. Methodologies of those studies, however, depended heavily on inference rather than empirical evidence. Moreover, they took two distinct approaches. The normative school claimed that the citation process adhered to standards, while the opposing side contended that other factors were involved.

The goal of this study was to obtain insights into the citation process in scientific communication focusing on a barely touched problem--citation motivation. The hypothesis was tested that the citation process is not conducted with adherence to standards, rather it is associated with extra-scientific effects, and that citing motivators are most likely to contribute to the underlying norms of the citation process.

Different from most inferential methodologies, the findings of this research were derived from directly questioning the Chinese physicist authors who cited other authors' works in their published papers. Indicators of citing characteristics and motivations were identified by analyzing the data collected from the questionnaires. As a result, internal motivators and external factors were determined in terms of their relationships to the two citation indicators: citation output and citation essentiality.

Findings revealed that an author's citation output was positively related to his use of an institutional library, while citation essentiality was related to an author's personal assessment of the value of the citation to a particular scientific domain. Moreover, a single citation could serve a number of functions in both personal motivation and in social or psychological factors.

The results of this study partially supported its hypothesis that the citation process does not necessarily conform to standards nor does it operate under rational evaluation. The study concluded that an author's citing process is unique, personal and complex. It suggested that further investigations are needed to articulate the nature and norms of this more-private-than-public process.

The significance of this study lies in its exploratory approach to the problem of citing behavior and citer motivation via a non-traditional methodology--direct questioning, and in its achievement of some new insights into the citation process.

MPACT Scores for Mengxiong Liu

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:29:38

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Students under Mengxiong Liu

ADVISEES:
- None

COMMITTEESHIPS:
- None