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Publication models in a changing environment: bibliometric analysis of books and book chapters using publications by Surrey Beatty & Sons

Calver, M.C., Fontaine, J.B. and Linke, T.E. (2013) Publication models in a changing environment: bibliometric analysis of books and book chapters using publications by Surrey Beatty & Sons. Pacific Conservation Biology, 19 . pp. 394-408.

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Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/PC130394
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Abstract

Expectations and patterns of publication have changed markedly with evolving online availability and associated development of new citation gathering databases. Perhaps the most vulnerable components of the scientific literature to ongoing change are books and book chapters, given their elongated publication timelines and generally more limited online availability. To test this, we applied citation analyses and assessments of library holdings to determine the use of the natural history books published by Surrey Beatty & Sons between 1987 and 2010. We (i) evaluated the relative use of book chapters and journal papers by comparing citations to chapters in the five books of the Nature Conservation series by Surrey Beatty & Sons to citations of journal chapters in four Australian journals published in the same years, (ii) determined the efficacy of four different databases in retrieving citations to book chapters by comparing their recovery of citations to the five books of the Nature Conservation series, and (iii) quantified noncitation measures related to library holdings to evaluate the use of the books on the entire Surrey Beatty & Sons list.

Mean citations/chapter to the first three books in the Nature Conservation series were similar to the mean citations/paper in four Australian journals published in the same years. However, the mean citations/chapter of the last two books declined relative to citations/paper for the journals, suggesting a fall in book use evident by early this century. Citation retrieval varied across databases; Google Scholar retrieved most citations, followed by Scopus, Web of Science (Cited Reference Search) and Web of Knowledge. Contrary to published concerns, no citations retrieved by Google Scholar were in questionable sources such as contents pages - many were from highly ranked journals.

Each book in the full Surrey Beatty & Sons list was held by an average of 45.3 libraries in Australia and 36.1 in the USA, and less than five in each of the UK, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Canada, Germany and South Africa. This was a similar coverage to another Australian publisher, the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, and indicated strong markets in Australia and the USA. It was less, though, than the number of libraries with current or past subscriptions to five Australian journals publishing nature conservation content.

We conclude that citation data for books and book chapters are available and that library holdings provide another measure of use. The online ‘visibility’ of books may be a problem, but can be improved through better marketing and improved author search techniques.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Surrey Beatty & Sons
Copyright: © Surrey Beatty & Sons
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/22541
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