Cassidy R. Sugimoto, Chaoqun Ni, Terrell G. Russell, Brenna Bychowski (accepted). Academic genealogy as an indicator of interdisciplinarity: An examination of dissertation networks in Library and Information Science. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology.
Abstract: Interdisciplinarity has been studied using cognitive connections among individuals in corresponding domains, but rarely from the perspective of academic genealogy. This paper utilizes academic genealogy network data from 3,038 Ph.D. dissertations in Library and Information Science (LIS) over a span of 80 years (1930-2009) in order to describe interdisciplinary changes in the discipline. Aspects of academic pedigree of advisors and committee members are analyzed, such as country, school, and discipline of highest degree, to reveal the interdisciplinary features of LIS. The results demonstrate a strong history of mentors from fields such as Education and Psychology, a decreasing trend of mentors with LIS degrees, and an increasing trend in mentors receiving degrees in Computer Science, Business, and Communication, among other disciplines. This work proposes and explores the use of academic genealogy as an indicator of interdisciplinarity and calls for additional research on the role of doctoral committee composition in a student's subsequent academic career.
S. Craig Finlay, Cassidy R. Sugimoto, Daifeng Li, Terrell G. Russell (accepted). LIS dissertation titles and abstracts (1930-2009): Where have all the librar* gone? The Library Quarterly.
Abstract: This article examines the topicality of Library and Information Science (LIS) dissertations written between 1930 and 2009 at schools with American Library Association (ALA)-accredited university programs in North America. Dissertation title and abstracts were examined for the presence of library-related keywords drawn from the core curriculum of ALA-accredited schools, and trend data were created to describe the evolution of LIS doctoral research over the last 80 years. It was found that the percentage of dissertations found to contain no instance of any of the selected library keywords has steadily risen since 1980. Simultaneously, the percentage of dissertations found to contain instances of keywords in both the title and abstract has steadily declined. The results provide general empirical support for long-held anecdotal assertions that libraries are no longer the primary research focus at the doctoral level in LIS.
Cassidy R. Sugimoto, Daifeng Li, Terrell G. Russell, Craig Finlay, Ying Ding (2010). The shifting sands of disciplinary development: Analyzing North American Library and Information Science (LIS) dissertations using Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA). Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology, 62(1), 185-204.
Abstract: This work identifies changes in dominant topics in library and information science (LIS) over time, by analyzing the 3,121 doctoral dissertations completed between 1930 and 2009 at North American Library and Information Science programs. The paper utilizes Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) to identify latent topics diachronically and to identify representative dissertations of those topics. The findings indicate that the main topics in LIS have changed substantially from those in the initial time period (1930-1969) to the present (2000-2009). However, some themes occurred in multiple time periods, representing core areas of the field: library history occurred in the first two time periods; citation analysis in the second and third time periods; and information-seeking behavior in the fourth and last time period. Two topics occurred in three of the five time periods: information retrieval and information use. One of the notable changes in the topics was the diminishing use of the word library (and related terms). This has implications for the provision of doctoral education in LIS. This work is compared to other earlier analyses and provides validation for the use of LDA in topic analysis of a discipline.
Terrell G. Russell, Cassidy R. Sugimoto (2009). MPACT Family Trees: Quantifying academic genealogy in library and information science. Journal of Education for Library & Information Science, 50(4), 248-262.
Abstract: Academic genealogy is valuable because it provides context, history and has the potential to predict future trends in a particular discipline or field. However, it is most commonly done casually and without the rigor to provide a platform for discussion beyond the anecdote. This paper presents a novel technique for calculating genealogical scores for individuals and academic "families." This data-driven technique provides a platform for greater contextualization and insight into an academic's legacy. Implemented widely, this technique could provide significant insight into mentorship as a valued addition to the traditional academic metrics of teaching, scholarship, and service.
Cassidy R. Sugimoto, Terrell G. Russell, Sheryl Grant (2009). Library and Information Science Doctoral Education: The Landscape from 1930-2007. Journal of Education for Library & Information Science, 50(3), 190-202.
Abstract: To anticipate future trends for doctoral education in library and information science (LIS), we examine the historical progression and current landscape of doctoral degree programs in the United States and Canada. By providing a comprehensive rendering of the history and current state of LIS doctoral education, this work provides data not previously available. Data for this work comes from MPACT, a database that provides listings of 3,014 LIS dissertations conferred by 38 ALA-accredited schools between 1930 and 2007. This work discusses degrees offered and focuses on changes in the landscape within the last ten years, in addition to an evaluation of schools that produce future faculty for ALISE institutions. Results confirm the health and activity of LIS doctoral programs in North America.
Terrell G. Russell, Cassidy R. Sugimoto (2009). MPACT Family Trees: Quantifying academic genealogy in library and information science. ALISE. Denver, CO. Jan 2009. Winner of the 2009 ALISE Best Paper Award.
Abstract: Academic genealogy is valuable because it provides context, history and has the potential to predict future trends in the field. However, it is most commonly done casually and without the rigor to provide a platform for discussion beyond the anecdote. This paper presents a novel technique for calculating genealogical scores for individuals and academic "families." This data-driven technique provides a platform for greater contextualization and insight into an academic's legacy.
Cassidy R. Sugimoto, Terrell G. Russell, Lokman I. Meho, Gary Marchionini (2008). MPACT and Citation Impact: Two Sides of the Same Scholarly Coin? Library & Information Science Research, 30(4), 273-281.
Abstract: This article provides the first comparison of citation counts and mentoring impact (MPACT) indicators - indicators that serve to quantify the process of doctoral mentoring. Using a dataset of 120 library and information science (LIS) faculty members in North America, this article examines the correlation between MPACT indicators and citation counts. Results suggest that MPACT indicators measure something distinct from citation counts. The article discusses these distinctions, with emphasis on differences between faculty ranks. It considers possible explanations for weak correlations between citations and mentoring at the full professor rank as well as implications for faculty activity analysis and broader institutional evolution.
Gary Marchionini, Paul Solomon, Cheryl Davis and Terrell Russell. Information and library science MPACT: A preliminary analysis. Library & Information Science Research, Volume 28, Issue 4, Winter 2006, Pages 480-500. Winner of the 2007 ALA Jesse H. Shera Award for Distinguished Published Research.
Abstract: Dissertation advising is an important form of mentoring. To investigate the impact of dissertation advising over time, advisor and committee member names were collected for 2400 dissertations completed over a 40-year period (1964-2004) in 32 North American information and library science schools. Several mentoring impact metrics are reported for a subset of the data, including the number of dissertations advised, the number of dissertation committees served on, the ratio of advising to committee membership, and the fractional "mpact" that weights advising and committee membership. The subset consists of data for six schools that produced at least three dozen dissertations and for which complete data is available. The data and resulting "mpact" metrics offer new ways to assess faculty impact and to investigate the nature and growth of a field.
Yong-Mi Kim. A Preliminary Social Network Analysis of MPACT. Poster. ASIS&T 2007. Milwaukee, WI.
Abstract: A preliminary social network analysis of the MPACT dataset is presented. The current MPACT measures only take into account direct advising or committee relationships. But a mentor may also have indirect impact in the productivity of a mentor's direct mentees. Proximity prestige is examined as one such measure. Visualization of mentoring networks can also uncover different facets of mentoring impact. This short paper presents work currently in progress.
Terrell Russell. MPACT Family Trees: Quantifying academic genealogy in library and information science. Presentation at ALISE. Jan. 22, 2009. Denver, CO. (Slides - pdf - 724kB)
The MPACT Project is given a quick overview and status report, followed by a proposal for seven new metrics for quantifying academic genealogy — A, A+C, T, D, G, W, and TA. These allow for insight into an individual's influence on a discipline, disciplinary lines of inquiry, and cultural shifts in research and mentoring practices over time.
MPACT was presented as a first-wave project dealing with the mapping of identities in scholarly discourse. While other representatives presented their systems with millions of records, MPACT shows how leveraging this new type of dataset is possible. With shared and linked data, the type of synthesis and analysis that MPACT is working on may go even faster.