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Objective - This paper investigated the intellectual structure of the cited journals by science doctoral students in the University of Ibadan, Nigeria through field-mapping mechanism namely co-citation analysis. The study also explored the relationship and its strength between the science disciplines in terms of journals that were co-referenced through bibliographic coupling analysis. The deployment of bibliographic coupling techniques with co-citation analysis was adopted to model the pattern of scientific communications among scientists and scholarly journals.
Methods - The scholarly citation data were collected from science doctoral theses submitted between 2006 and 2013 across ten disciplines in the Faculty of Science, University of Ibadan. Variety of data techniques were deployed such co-citation analysis, factor analysis, and bibliographic coupling to identify the characteristics of the citation network, the subgroups that constituted the intellectual structure of the cited journals by science doctoral students, most influential journals, and degree of relation between science disciplines.
Results - The bibliometric citation network analysis of science doctoral students revealed that 1,290 journals were co-cited and 40.62% journals were co-referenced within two or more disciplines. Factor analysis revealed seven subgroups and network diagram largely matches the first subgroup which constitutes 88% of the journals with total variance explained of 51.21% while other subgroups were beclouded.
Conclusion - The analysis provide insights about citation network structure, the influence of some journals and the fair rate of indices of cross disciplinary journals, which is a good harbinger of relationship among science disciplines, though degree of association with each other differs. Meanwhile, explicit identification of specialties (subgroups) from factor analysis is still subjected to further investigations perhaps using authors as a unit of analysis.
Keyword: bibliometrics, citation network, co-citation analysis, information science, scholarly communication, knowledge representation