Mapping the knowledge base of information policy : clusters of documents, people and ideas
This thesis investigates aspects of the intellectual and social structure of the field of information policy through a detailed examination of the serials literature. The aims of the research are to explore how information policy scholarship is organised—in terms of its relation to other fields and disciplines; whether it constitutes a distinct specialty in its own right; and what kinds of institutional structures and arrangements exist to support research and scholarship. In Part One, a literature review identifies previous bibliometric and other studies which are relevant to studies of scholarly disciplines and knowledge communities. It discusses the interdisciplinary problem-oriented nature of information policy and considers some of the modes of enquiry which characterise investigations this area. Part Two consists of a series of experiments carried out on a test collection of 771 periodical articles drawn from the Social science Citation Index The empirical work comprised four linked studies: a bibliometric census study an analysis of document clustering; an author cocit.ation study; and a content analysis. Extensive use was made of multivariate statistical techniques, notably principal components analysis, hierarchical clustering, discriminant and correspondence analysis to identify statistically significant and meaningful patterns and structures within the test collection. The study concludes that information policy is a growing and reasonably distinctive field of study with strong links to library and information science, law, media studies, and the political sciences. It is suggested that the field is not unified and that research is still primarily organised along national and traditional disciplinary lines, with little evidence of significant collaborative activity across institutions or sectors. The research base is highly dispersed, with practitioners playing a major role in the production of knowledge. In institutional terms, the field is very thinly spread, with few signs of concentration.