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Format Citation Patterns and Their Implications for Collection Development in Research Libraries

Michael Bowman (Sciences Reference Librarian, John Cotton Dana Library, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J)

Collection Building

ISSN: 0160-4953

Article publication date: 1 January 1991



In this time of rapidly increasing journal subscription costs and shrinking (or stable) acquisition budgets, it is imperative to acquire materials as effectively as possible. One method of doing this is to use citation analysis of the scholarly literature as a guideline. Citation analysis is the analysis of the references from a set of documents (such as an analysis of all of the citations from five years of College & Research Libraries or of all citations from geology dissertations at a university). Information received from the analysis includes: languages of items cited, age of items cited (to calculate a half‐life for the field), and rate of self‐citations. Broadus reviewed citation analysis, its use, validity, and reliability. In the past, citation analysis has been used in collection development to decide on the suitability of specific items (both journals and monographs), such as mentioned in Buzzard and Whaley. The method introduced here is to use the percentage of publication formats cited in the research literature to serve as a guideline for acquisitions budget breakdowns, i.e., percentages allocated to monographs versus that allocated to other formats, for each discipline. The reasoning behind this is that an effective method of acquiring materials is to purchase the materials that the library's clients will use in the formats in which they will use them. The key assumption is that the citations in a scholar's paper reflect the literature the scholar used.


Bowman, M. (1991), "Format Citation Patterns and Their Implications for Collection Development in Research Libraries", Collection Building, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 2-8.




Copyright © 1991, MCB UP Limited

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