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Price revisited: on the growth of dissertations in eight research fields
Aarhus University.
Institutionen för ABM, Uppsala Universitet.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1504-8395
2011 (English)In: Scientometrics, ISSN 0138-9130, E-ISSN 1588-2861, Vol. 88, no 2, p. 371-383Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper studies the production of dissertations in eight research fields in thenatural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities. In using doctoral dissertations itbuilds on De Solla Prices seminal study which used PhD dissertations as one of severalindicators of scientific growth (Price, Little science, big science, 1963). Data from theProQuest: Dissertations and Theses database covering the years 1950–2007 are used todepict historical trends, and the Gompertz function was used for analysing the data. Adecline in the growth of dissertations can be seen in all fields in the mid-eighties andseveral fields show only a modest growth during the entire period. The growth profiles ofspecific disciplines could not be explained by traditional dichotomies such as pure/appliedor soft/hard, but rather it seems that the age of the discipline appears to be an importantfactor. Thus, it is obvious that the growth of dissertations must be explained using severalfactors emerging both inside and outside academia. Consequently, we propose that theoutput of dissertations can be used as an indicator of growth, especially in fields like thehumanities, where journal or article counts are less applicable.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 88, no 2, p. 371-383
Keywords [en]
History of science, Dissertations, Publication analysis, Growth of science
National Category
Information Studies
Research subject
Library and Information Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-276DOI: 10.1007/s11192-011-0408-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-276DiVA, id: diva2:826587
Available from: 2015-06-25 Created: 2015-06-25 Last updated: 2018-03-19Bibliographically approved

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Hammarfelt, Björn

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
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  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
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  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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