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Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship
Winter 2004

Establishing a Core List of Journals for Forestry: A Citation Analysis

Paul Kelsey

Tom Diamond

Louisiana State University


Citations of articles published from 1990-2002 of faculty teaching at selected southern universities were counted and analyzed to form a core list of the most highly cited journals for the field of forestry. The core list of journals was compared to the list of primary forestry serials compiled by the Cornell Core Agricultural Literature Project. Core lists were also developed for professors, associate, and assistant professors, and citation differences among the three groups were analyzed. The study also categorized the journals cited by Agricola Subject Codes, and provides the total percentage of publications appearing in journals assigned forestry codes and the percentage published in non-forestry journals. The study revealed that interdisciplinary journals play a significant role in the research conducted by forest science faculty. The analysis also provides a list of the citing journals containing the most publications from faculty chosen for the study. The contributed paper will present the results of the study and summarize the methodology used in the analysis. The methodology can be applied to establish core journals in other areas of the agricultural sciences. The core list from our citation study will be submitted to Carla Casler for possible inclusion in the Forestry Journal List portion of the Agricola Analysis Project. The authors have submitted the study to College & Research Libraries for publication. The primary purpose of this study was to establish a current core list of the most highly cited forestry journals for use as a collection development tool. The citation study analyzed publications of forestry faculty from the following universities in the southern United States: University of Georgia, Mississippi State, Auburn University, Texas A&M, Stephen F. Austin University, Louisiana State University, and the University of Florida. The authors randomly selected half of the faculty from each university from each of the following academic ranks: assistant professor, associate professor, and full professor. The authors selected members listed as forestry faculty in tenured/tenure track positions. Extension and experiment station faculty were included if listed as faculty members within the forestry department. Faculty members were selected without regard to their primary area of research. Affiliate faculty, visiting scholars, emeritus professors, and members holding joint appointments were excluded from the study. The authors then conducted literature searches for each faculty member in Web of Science, CABDirect, and Agricola, and also examined the lists of publications posted on faculty web sites. The study examined faculty publications spanning from 1990-2002. The core list of the most highly cited journals was established by counting 15,800 citations. Journal titles taken from citations from each publication were tabulated in an Excel spreadsheet. The study excluded annual proceedings, transactions, symposia, annals, monographs (including theses and dissertations), conferences, monographic series, and irregular publications. USDA publications and experiment station/extension publications were also excluded. WorldCat and Ulrich's were used to verify journal titles. Articles appearing in Agricola and CABDirect but not in Web of Science (or in the case of cited references not appearing in Web of Science) were either ordered through Interlibrary Loan or located at the LSU Libraries. Separate spreadsheets were maintained for each of the three faculty ranks (assistant, associate, full professor). The core list combined the most highly cited journals from all three of the faculty ranks. JCR impact factors were provided for journals appearing in the core list. The authors consulted Agricola to determine the assignment of Subject Codes for the journals cited in the study.

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