Citation Analysis of the Philippine Law Journal

August 5, 2018 | Author: Eunice Sandoval | Category: Citation, Librarian, Libraries, Science, Science And Technology
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Background of the Study

It is necessary for a law librarian to be keen and meticulous in acquiring and selecting materials to be included in his/her library. A law librarian should be able to  provide the best materials to answer user needs. It is also important for law librarians to be able to identify the law library materials that are frequently used by its users to  be able to have an effective law library collection. In a time where library budgets b udgets are getting smaller and library materials getting more expensive, a law librarian should have selection tools other than book reviews, bestseller lists, and recommendations from faculty members to determine what its user community needs. The publications of the academic community which the law library serves is a useful source of information on these needs. The UP College of Law publishes the  Philippine Law Journal (PLJ). Most of the articles included here are written by the faculty and students of the college. An analysis of citation in the  PLJ articles  PLJ  articles will, therefore, show what the UP Law constituents consider important for their research needs, specifically in the areas of foreign and international laws. This knowledge will help the UP law Library in the development of a collection that meets these needs.


There are two approaches to collection development: the collection-oriented approach, and the user-oriented approach. This paper focuses on the collectionoriented approach. User-Oriented Approach Versus Collection-Oriented Approach to Law Library Collections A user-oriented collection is one that is focused on meeting the demands of  the users and not so much on how to make the library’s collection expansive (Ghassemi, 2012). One of its goals is to collect information resources that are in accordance with the demands of the users (ibid.). Therefore, a user-oriented approach relies on statistics based on document delivery tests, shelf availability tests and the cooperation of users who provide information about their needs through surveys, interviews and questionnaires (Katz, 1980). This approach also relies on the assumption that books that are frequently used are those which are important and valuable to a society (ibid.). It also relies on the long-held belief that the frequent use of a book in the past will also determine its frequency of usage in the future (ibid.). The disadvantage of using a user-oriented approach to library collections is that response and cooperation from both the staff and the users may be inclined to bias and therefore results can be contaminated (ibid.). Also, according to Katz, the approach measures the demands of the users and not their needs and it relies greatly on the belief that the past use of a library material could also answer the present and


future needs of the users. It is important to note that needs of users vary over time and, therefore, this approach should be used with great caution in various disciplines. Meanwhile, a collection-oriented approach develops the library collection  based on the felt and apparent needs of the users who use the library frequently (Katz, 1980). The method analyzes the library collection statistically based on its size, area of specialization, usage, and other administrative factors (ibid.). The advantage of  using this approach is that statistical data are easily available and need no cooperation of users in order to determine their needs (ibid.). This method allows law librarians to evaluate the quality and value of their library collections based on a more reputable standard. Also in this method, bias is eliminated because only documents and checklists are to be consulted for results and there is an assurance that the data that will be gathered will directly answer the current and probable future needs of the users. There are various methods to employ in the evaluation of a law library collection through the collection-oriented approach. One of these methods could help law librarians to quantitatively assess the value of their library collections through the use of published research (Katz, 1980). This unobtrusive and unbiased method of  determining the needs of the users through evaluation of published materials in a specific discipline is called citation analysis.


Bibliometrics and Citation Analysis Bibliometrics is “the use of mathematical and statistical methods to study and identify patterns in the usage of materials and services within a library or to analyze the historical development of a specific body of literature, especially its authorship,  publication, and use” (Online Dictionary of Library and Information Science [ODLIS], 2012, para. 1). It is a method that seeks to understand the intellectual and scholarly impact of researchers in a specific field through the evaluation of works written by these researchers (Moed, 2009). The purpose of bibliometrics is to measure scholarly communication patterns in a quantifiable manner in order to be understood scientifically and to be utilized for various administrative and scholarly  pursuits (De Bellis, 2009). It enables researchers and information scientists to understand








 bibliographic references or the citations made by authors. Citations are “reference[s] to a specific work or portion of a work produced  by a particular author [or] editor, clearly identifying the document in which the work  th

is to be found” (ODLIS, 2012). It has long been used, since the late 16 century, by authors who want to give their work “greater evidential weight by noting and referring to other sources” (Nicolaisen, 2007, p. 610). Today, citations have become extremely crucial and should come to the mind of the writer automatically when writing scholarly works “in order to communicate ‘effectively’ and ‘intelligently’ [with other scholars]” (ibid., p. 610 ). In order to analyze the impact of an author or a


 journal that has been cited by another author or article, the study of the relationship  between the two employs the use of citation analysis (Smith, 1981). Citation analysis is “a bibliometric technique in which works cited in  publications are examined to determine patterns of scholarly communication [and] for purposes of collection evaluation and development” (ODLIS, 2012). It “uses reference citations found in scientific papers as the primary analytical tool” (Garfield, Malin & Small, 1983, p. 180). The utilization of citation analysis in determining the materials which have greater “impact, influence [and] quality” (Moed, 2009, p. 13) through the data gathered could be used as tools for an objective selection process for library collection development as well as in determining who, among the many researchers in a discipline, has contributed greatly in the development of knowledge. Since citations “build pictures of user behavior without ever confronting the user himself” (Smith, 1981, p. 85), citation analysis is one of the “unobtrusive [measures] that do not require the cooperation of a respondent and that do not themselves contaminate the response” (ibid., p. 84-85). Utilization of Citation Analysis in Law Library Collection Development Citation analysis has a lot of uses in the field of librarianship and research. According to Linda Smith (1981) the two main applications of citation analysis are (1) as a tool for collection development for the law librarian and (2) as a method of  evaluation of the research development and growth of a discipline. As a tool for  collection development, citation analysis can be used to determine which of the law


library materials, specifically journals, are the most frequently used and have greater  value than other law library materials. Journals are more commonly used as the source of cited documents to be analyzed because they are subject-specific and citations cited by the authors are more likely to be more authoritative since articles  published in journals are usually written by experts and professionals of a specific discipline. The information found in citation analysis are useful because it can help in the selection and deselection practices of librarians (ibid.). Therefore, citation analysis can be an assistive tool in the selection and deselection practices of law librarians. It can also aid in determining which types of formats to acquire in the future, as these are also determined in conducting citation analysis. Utilization of  citation analysis for law library collection development is advantageous to the law librarian because the method is easy to facilitate and the information found from it can be replicated and broadened for various purposes (ibid.). As a method of evaluation of research development of a discipline, the study of the literature of a given discipline, for instance the discipline of law, c an help trace the behavior of citing over time. It studies the characteristics of materials such as “types, age, highly cited authors and journals, language and countries of origin, and subject distributions” (Smith, 1981, p. 94). Also, journals allow researchers to see how far a discipline has come in terms of how much their scholars have written about their field. Journals also enable librarians to see where the weight of the information needs of the users rely heavily upon.


The Philippine Law Journal as a Tool for Citation Analysis Citation analysis was originally developed to understand the journal impact factors of the field of science and technology. Since science and technology are easily quantifiable, and have a richer literature, they were the first to gain importance in the bibliometrics world. In 1976, Eugene Garfield, one of the key contributors to the field of bibliometrics and developer of Science Citation Index, developed A&HCI  (Arts and Humanities Citation Index). Since then, the study of citations has not been strictly focused on the hard sciences. This present study evaluates law journals  because there has been little citation studies done in the field of social sciences, more  particularly in the field of law. The  Philippine Law Journal (PLJ) was founded by the first dean of the College of Law of the University of the Philippines College in 1914. At that time, it was the only legal publication in the Orient published in the English language. The contributors of the journal are faculty members and students of the UP College of  Law and the journal is published quarterly. In the 97 years of publication of the Philippine Law Journal, it has published various topics in the discipline of law. During the first few decades of its publication, it was composed greatly of speeches and commencement addresses from the  previous deans of the UP College of Law. It also contained book commentaries, as well as dissertations of students and faculty members of the college. Later   publications discussed the Philippine constitution, Philippine laws, legal education


system in the Philippines as well as International laws and its implications and applications to the Philippine legal system. This present study will analyze articles published in the PLJ between 2000 to 2012, specifically articles that have used or cited laws and jurisprudence from foreign sources as well as international law. The 13-year coverage of this study will allow legal researchers, law students and legal professionals of the UP College of  Law to have a glimpse on the types of source documents legal researchers and contributors of the  PLJ  have used over time; especially during the period during which information was not as widely distributed in various formats as they are nowadays.

Statement of the Problem

The tightening of law library budgets, lack of physical space, increase in database subscription costs hamper the law librarian’s capability to have the best and most comprehensive law library collection (De Bellis, 2009). It, in turn, hampers the law librarian’s ability to possess a law library collection that enables him/her to effectively address its user needs. Citation analysis is one method that law librarians of the UP College of Law could employ to know which of their law library materials its users frequently refer  to. It is a method that could give insight on how to build an effective collection-


oriented law library collection as well as be able to gain insight from where the user  community frequently gets its resources and could provide knowledge as to the type of materials the law librarian should focus on. Considering the importance of foreign legal materials and international law in the development of legal scholarship in the country, and considering further the fact that the UP Law Library is a repository of  local legal publications, this study analyzes foreign and international law cited by articles published in the PLJ from 2000 to 2012. The study attempts to answer the following specific questions: 1. Citations: 1.1. In what fields or topics of Philippine law are citations to foreign and international materials often found? 1.2. Which are the most predominant countries of publication of foreign materials cited in PLJ ? 1.3. What is the predominantly used language of the foreign and international law cited? 1.4. What is the predominantly used format of the materials cited in PLJ ? 1.5. What is the age of cited materials? 1.6. Which journal titles, book titles and article titles are most commonly cited in  PLJ ? 1.7. Who are the most commonly cited authors/editors in PLJ ?


2. UP Law Library Collection: 2.1. What percentage of materials cited are available in the UP Law Library? 2.2. How strong is the UP Law Library’s collection in the areas or topics discussed in the PLJ articles under study? 2.3. How can the collection of the UP Law Library be improved to meet the needs of legal scholars and contribute to more scholarly outputs for the PLJ ?

Objectives of the Study


Citations: 1.1. To determine the predominant fields or topics of foreign and international law citations. 1.2. To determine the most predominant countries of publication of foreign materials cited in PLJ . 1.3. To determine the predominantly used language of the foreign and international law cited. 1.4. To determine the predominantly used format cited in PLJ . 1.5. To determine the age of materials cited. 1.6. To determine the journal titles, book titles and article titles most commonly cited in PLJ . 1.7. To determine the most commonly cited authors/editors in PLJ .


2. UP Law Library Collection: 2.1. To determine the percentage of the available materials in the UP Law Library in relation to materials cited. 2.2. To determine how strong the UP Law Library’s collection is in the areas or  topics discussed in the PLJ articles under study. 2.3. To determine how the collection of the UP Law Library can be improved to meet the needs of legal scholars and contribute to more scholarly outputs for  the PLJ .

Significance of the Study

The information sought will be a helpful tool for producing a collectionoriented library approach for the UP Law Library. With the abundance of relevant information to be acquired for the UP Law Library, an unobtrusive method to determine a material’s value should be imposed. From the point of view of legal researchers, this study will allow them to gain an insight on how much has been or  has not been written about a topic and would give them a glimpse on what still needs to be discussed. In a sense, this citation analysis of the PLJ is a landmark study because there is yet no bibliometric study in the field of law, and more particularly, no study on the citations of the  Philippine Law Journal articles. Librarians at the UP Law Library will be made aware of the value of citation analysis in improving their selection


 practices. This study can also serve as guide for other citation studies for the development of the library collection.

Scope and Limitations of the Study

The researcher only covered articles citing foreign and international law in 13 years of publication (2000 to 2012) of the  PLJ. Also, only published foreign and international law sources were collected (with the exclusion of foreign legal cases and the like) due to the fact that published materials are much more easily located and cited and, therefore, are a lot more relevant and apparent to the citing patterns of  the users. The year 2000 was chosen as the starting point of the study in order to trace developments in citations over the years, during the period of the introduction of technology. For instance, the study may be able to show, albeit indirectly, that more foreign and international materials are being cited after the introduction of  electronic databases than in the past when the library only had printed sources of  information. This will alert the law librarian to invest more on e-resources. The choice of time frame will also show changes in sources cited, that is whether certain sources have withstood the test of time, so that what have been cited in the early 2000 are still being cited in the present time. This present study covered 218 articles found in the PLJ . These articles are found in both print and electronic formats of the journal. The print formats of the  PLJ  are found in the UP Main Library, Filipiniana Serials Collection and the UP


Law Library, while the electronic formats can be accessed through the journal’s official website. Citations and citation counts are the primary focus of this study. Since it would be the first study undertaken in the field of law, more particularly of the  Philippine Law Journal , it is the researcher’s opinion that the fundamental analysis of its citations should first be done before embarking on other depths and aspects of  its citations.

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