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Scholarly communication in educational psychology: a journal citation analysis

Zao Liu (Sterling C. Evans Library, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA)

Collection Building

ISSN: 0160-4953

Article publication date: 9 October 2007




This paper aims to study the scholarly communication of educational psychology by exploring its intellectual structure and general journal citation patterns.


Journal citation data were collected from Journal Citation Reports for 2004‐2005. The structure of the subject relatedness of the journals was created through a cluster analysis using the cosine as its measure. The general citation patterns were discussed in terms of cited and citing frequencies and related ratios.


Six clusters of journals were identified, including general educational psychology/learning/literacy, school psychology, measurement and counseling, Germany‐based educational psychology, creativity, and the other. The following general citation patterns emerged in the study: a small number of journals accounted for a relatively high percentage of the intra‐disciplinary citations; the majority of the selected journals cited more than being cited in the field; the major general educational psychology journals, most school psychology journals, all Germany‐based journals, and creativity journals had higher level of concentration in the field than others; and journals with high cited and citing frequencies and high cited/citing ratios did not necessarily have high level of concentration in the field.

Research limitations/implications

Given the broad scope of educational psychology, the study was limited to the journals included in the educational psychology category of Journal Citation Reports.

Practical implications

Libraries may benefit from the study results for collection development in educational psychology. Prospective authors may use the information to enhance their publishing opportunities. Academic administrators may use the citation information for promotion and tenure review.


The study revealed the subject relatedness and general citation patterns of educational psychology journals in a large context. The visual and quantitative presentation of the citation patterns is conducive to the understanding of educational psychology as a discipline.



Liu, Z. (2007), "Scholarly communication in educational psychology: a journal citation analysis", Collection Building, Vol. 26 No. 4, pp. 112-118.



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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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