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Bibliometric analysis of Nigeria's social science and arts and humanities publications in Thomson Scientific databases

Williams Nwagwu (Africa Regional Centre for Information Science, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria)
, and
Osakioduwa Egbon (Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research, Benin City, Nigeria)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 9 August 2011




This paper seeks to analyse publications on Nigeria indexed in Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI) and Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) of Thomson Scientific databases respectively to understand the international perspective of aspects of research publication dynamics in both fields.


Data covering the period 2002‐2007 were collected from the SSCI and AHCI of the Web of Science, an online service of Thomson Scientific in June 2008.


SSCI and AHCI indexed a total of 716 publications on Nigeria, 634 and 82 respectively. Paper production in each of these fields rose during 2002 to 2004 and 2005 respectively, and then started dropping. The publications received a total of 1,371 citations; the 82 AHCI documents received only six citations, while the 634 SSCI publications received 1,366 citations, equivalent to means of 0.06 and 2.15 citations per AHCI and SSCI document respectively. Only 6.1 per cent of the AHCI documents were cited compared with 46.7 per cent of SSCI publications; but citation of social science papers was consistently on the increase, while citation of arts and humanities publications, flattened in 200 humanities, was consistently on the increase. In both fields, article type of papers written in English dominated.

Research limitations/implications

This research covers only a period of six years; a fuller picture would be obtained with a longer period.

Practical implications

Publications in sources listed in international databases could illustrate the extent to which Nigerian scholars have addressed issues of global relevance.


The paper uncovers the international status and perspective of Nigerian publications in social science and arts and humanities disciplines.



Nwagwu, W. and Egbon, O. (2011), "Bibliometric analysis of Nigeria's social science and arts and humanities publications in Thomson Scientific databases", The Electronic Library, Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 438-456.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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