D-Lib Magazine
The Magazine of Digital Library Research
transparent image

D-Lib Magazine

January/February 2010
Volume 16, Number 1/2
Table of Contents


D-Lib Magazine: Its First 13 Years

Taemin Kim Park
Indiana University Libraries

Printer-friendly Version



By the use of bibliometric techniques, authorship characteristics of D-Lib Magazine (D-Lib) are studied. Data was collected by examining issues from the Magazine's launch date, July 1995 to the issue dated May/June 2008. Author productivity, the most productive authors, authors' gender, type of affiliated institutions, authors' geographic distribution, multiple authorship, and the average number of references per article are reported. The impact of D-Lib Magazine was investigated by utilizing Web of Sciences (WoS) databases and its analyzing tools. The most cited D-Lib Magazine authors, D-Lib articles, and the lists of authors, journals, and academic fields that often cite the Magazine are presented.



D-Lib Magazine (D-Lib), one of the very first manifestations of the "born digital" generation of journals was launched in July 1995. In its inaugural issue, editor, Amy Friedlander, characterized the audience of D-Lib as researchers, developers, and the intellectually curious interested in digital library (DL) issues. The position the Magazine holds as the first and oldest publication in the DL area and its attempt to strive to balance between scholarly journal and technical magazine make it an interesting subject for study. This unique perspective poses intriguing questions regarding the characteristics of the discipline, the readership, and the Magazine's influence on digital libraries. This investigation focuses on the authorship profile of D-Lib during its first 13 years of publication as a way to assess authorship trends in the development of digital libraries.

Digital librarianship has become an important specialization within library and information science education. For example, DL specialization is available in the library and information science programs in Indiana University and the University of Illinois, among others. The importance of digital libraries has emerged in the publishing industry as well. A quick subject search about digital libraries in WorldCat resulted in more than 1,000 records.


Related Studies

Characteristics and trends of authorship in library and information science (LIS) journals have been examined by researchers including Cline (1982), Metz (1989), Terry (1996), Nisonger (1996), Al-Ghamdi, Al-Harbi, Beacom, et al. (1998), Lipetz (1999), He and Spink (2002), Young (2006), and Fennewald (2007), among others. Cline (1982) reports details of the authorship characteristics of College & Research Libraries (CRL) for the period 1939 to 1979. The total number of articles, the average number of references per article, journal self-citations, topics discussed, author productivity, the gender of authors, the most productive authors, the most highly contributing affiliated institutions, types of institutions, coauthor productivity, and the most cited authors in the CRL articles were reported among other things. Metz (1989) updated Cline's analysis of CRL authorship regarding referencing, gender, affiliated institutions, collaborative authorship, and research methods used for the period 1980 to 1988. It is interesting that the percentages of unreferenced articles in CRL were around 40% in the first 20-year period and drop to less than 10% after 1975. Terry (1996) subsequently updated the CRL authorship studies, focusing on gender, institutional affiliation, and extent of collaboration for the period 1989 to 1994. The CRL authors were predominantly male during the first 40 years (around 65%-87%), then decreased to 50% by the period 1989-1994. Nisonger (1996) examined authorship trends for articles published in Library Acquisitions: Practice and Theory (LAPT), 1977-1995. His research analyzed additional aspects of authorship characteristics regarding geographical distribution and international authorship. Authorship characteristics and trends in Journal of the American Society for Information Science (JASIS) and Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (JASIST) were reported in detail (Al-Ghamdi, et al., 1998; Lipetz, 1999; and Liu, 2003). Al-Ghamdi, et al. (1998) found that almost 78% of all articles published in the years 1970 to 1996 were written by an author who published only once in JASIS. JASIS collaborate authorship over the same period was about 39%. Male authors predominated (60%). Authors affiliated with institutions located in the US contributed about 78% of all papers. Lipetz (1999) added titling of the papers, citing practices in authorship characteristics of JASIS. The average number of references in a JASIS paper was 8.3 (in 1955), then dropped to 7 (in 1965), but the number increased to 30.5 in 1995. Liu (2003) reported that more multiple authors were coauthoring in producing papers, and collaborative authorship increased to 58% over the JASIST 2001-2002 period. He and Spink (2002) examined international authorship trends in JASIST and Journal of Documentation (JDoc). International authorship tended both up and down until the mid 1980s for both journals but began to increase after the 1980-1984 period for JASIST, and increased for JDoc after the 1985-1989 period. A bibliometric study of Library Quarterly (LQ) for the years 1956-2004 was reported (Young, 2006). The total number of publications, a ranked list of the most productive 30 authors, LQ authors who were cited by other LQ articles, LQ authors who were frequently cited in WoS journals, and LQ articles that were most frequently cited in the Web of Science were identified. Fennewald (2007) reported a profile of authors of the contributed papers at the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Conferences. Authorship profiles were presented for geographic distribution, author productivity, collaboration, gender, and institutional affiliations. Women authors have always given more papers during the 27-year history (1978-2005) of the Conference. Park (2008) studied authorship characteristics from the Asian and Pacific region in the top twenty journals in library and information science. A recent research project by Cronin and Shaw (2007) used bibliometric techniques to identify Rob Kling's intellectual networks and influences using his publications, his cited works, and acknowledgement data.


Purpose of the Study

The research reported in this article focuses on the authorship characteristics of D-Lib Magazine during its first 13 years of publication. As a first generation "born digital" journal, it warrants a detailed summary of authorship patterns regarding digital librarianship and the changes experienced over time. Although D-Lib is still in its formative period, as is the digital library area, the importance of the Magazine is well recognized in the field. Magazines for Libraries highly recommends the journal, "this free, online journal is an important publication in the digital library community ... recent articles have examined preservation metadata, usage of digital information, search engines crawler behavior, and institutional repositories. Highly recommended for all libraries involved in digital library activities" (p. 597). Recent bibliometric research on digital libraries also notes that D-Lib Magazine has published the largest number of articles on digital libraries (Singh, Mittal, & Ahmad, 2007).

The magazine's first issue included three "stories & briefings" as well as "clips and pointers." The founding editor announced at the onset that the magazine was itself an experiment in electronic publishing for the networked environment. After 13 years, the January/February 2008 issue contained 5 full-length papers, 4 "In Briefs," and clips and pointers, among other items.

The March/April 2008 issue published an editorial that described D-Lib content categories, "What's in a name? Categories of D-Lib content defined" (Wilson, 2008). Following are descriptions of the main categories.

Article: "D-Lib articles describe and discuss digital library (DL) research and development projects that have either been completed or have reached a stage where significant results have been achieved to warrant sharing with the DL community."

Commentary: "A commentary is primarily a thought piece, though it may also include some description of a project. Sometimes the choice to categorize a piece as a 'commentary' rather than an 'article' is a bit arbitrary."

Opinion: "This category is used for thought pieces that have strong points of view."

Conference Report: "Reports on DL and related conferences and workshops."

Featured Collection: Introduces an exceptional or unique digital library, collection or web site.

Project Update: Updates on a project that was reported on earlier in D-Lib Magazine.

Project Summary: Summarizes a completed project about which an interim report had appeared in D-Lib Magazine.

In Brief and In The News: "To notify the DL community about projects getting underway, short conference or workshop reports, the launch of DL sites and services, and other current awareness items." Announces excerpts from non-commercial news and press releases.

Clips and Pointers: Reports on new online publications, portals, bibliographies and information about upcoming conferences, etc.

The Magazine used the term "story" rather than "article" until July/August 2000. Beginning in September 2000, the term "articles" replaced "stories." "Commentary " was added in March 2004.

Over the last 14 years, there have been four editors of D-Lib Magazine:

Amy Friedlander, July 1995-October 1998
William Y. Arms, November 1998-May 2001
Peter Hirtle, June 1999-May 2001
Bonita Wilson, November 1998-January 2010

The journal was published monthly (with the July/August issue combined) until 2006. Currently, it is a bimonthly publication. A total of 136 issues were published from July 1995 through May/June 2008.

D-Lib Magazine is produced by Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI). Prior to April 2006, the Magazine was funded under grants from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) on behalf of the Digital Libraries Initiative and from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Since 2007, the Magazine has been funded by the D-Lib Alliance.

Although D-Lib Magazine is not peer-reviewed, a recent report announces a high citation rate (Wilson, 2005). Preliminary data shows that D-Lib Magazine has been cited more than 1,000 times over the last 13-year period.

Authorship characteristics will be discussed and compared with findings of related authorship studies. This article attempts to address the following issues:
  1. How many articles, including stories, commentaries and opinions, has D-Lib Magazine published?
  2. How many articles are by single authors; by multiple authors?
  3. Who are the most frequent contributors?
  4. What is the gender distribution of authors?
  5. What are authors' institutional affiliations?
  6. How many co-authors are involved in collaboratively written articles?
  7. How many references are made in the average article?
  8. How often has D-Lib been cited?
  9. Which authors are most frequently cited?
  10. Which articles are most frequently cited?
  11. Who cites D-Lib most often?
  12. Which journals cite D-Lib most often?
  13. Which academic fields cite D-Lib?
  14. Authors from which institutions most frequently cite D-Lib?

Data Collection

Two types of data were collected: from source documents and from external works that cite D-Lib Magazine. Each issue of the Magazine was examined for the period July 1995 to May/June 2008. Stories, articles, commentaries, and opinions in each issue were used as source documents. Commentaries were considered as articles for this research. As defined by the Magazine, categorizing as an article or commentary is a bit arbitrary (Wilson, 2008). Occasional opinions were also treated as articles. Editorial notes, clips and pointers were not included, as these are less scholarly. Data about single and collaborative authorship, authors' gender, affiliated institutions of authors, publication year, and type of affiliation for authors, and the numbers of references included in the source documents were collected. Authors' gender was identified by clicking on links to author photos available at the Magazine or searching the Web in the case of contributions that appeared without links to author photos. Each contribution of authorship is considered separately. For example, an article coauthored by four people was counted as four authorship instances for data analysis. Collected data were stored in an Excel file.

Data citing D-Lib Magazine were collected by utilizing WoS in late September 2008 to examine an aspect of the Magazine's impact. In Cited Reference Search, a search for cited work=d-lib* was conducted for the cited year 1995-2002, 2003-2005, 2006-2008 periods separately. A truncated search was used to match any variations in the same work and to achieve a more comprehensive search result. In the Cited Reference Search, all references in the WoS databases that cite D-Lib were searched. The search result displayed cited author, cited work (the Magazine), year and volume (if available), plus the number of times cited for a specific article. For example, the most highly cited authors of the Magazine were identified as such. The search result for a cited author William Y. Arms was listed as "WY Arms" and "W Arms" because the references in various databases have variant name forms. After selecting the entries for WY Arms and W Arms, the result will display the list of 41 articles that cite William Y. Arms's articles in D-Lib.

From the Cited Reference Search, all search results were selected to compile the list of articles that cite D-Lib Magazine and to refine the result using ISI analysis tools. One should note that the number of records in the search result and in the select/finished result (selected from the initial search result menu) might differ. The Cited Reference Search will search all references in WoS databases that cite D-Lib. The finished search result shows only the articles in the source titles that are included in WoS databases. For example, D-Lib is not included in the WoS, hence the articles published in the Magazine are not included in the Cited Reference Search results. However, many bibliometric studies of journals exclude self-citations, as journal self-citations are known to be high and a journal's impact is traditionally measured by citations from other journals, not how often it cites itself.

Also, although not an issue in this study, the result may be influenced by scope of one's institution's subscriptions to the various databases within WoS. For example, if an institution has a subscription to the Science Citation Index Expanded and the Arts and Humanities Index databases but not the Social Science Citation Index, the number of retrieved records may be smaller. In addition the result may be influenced by one's subscription periods. If an institution has access to a limited time period, such as from 2000 to the present rather than the complete range, the result would most likely be smaller. Interpretations of search results should consider these factors. Clarification regarding this matter was explained by Thomson Reuters Customer Support, via email correspondence (e-mails on June 25 and July 1, 2009). Because this author's institution subscribes to all WoS databases and all products, the result reported here are complete. However, attempts to replicate this study in other institutions might obtain different results.

There were 1,273 records citing D-Lib during 1995-2008. Additional search was conducted in late August 2009 to obtain the D-Lib articles most frequently cited and the WoS journals citing D-Lib most often. D-Lib was cited 1,374 times during 1995-August 2009.

ISI analysis tools allow the search results to be sorted by ranked order for a selected field (e.g., author, country, institutional name). The search results were analyzed by each field of author, country, institutional name, source title, document types, publication year, and subject area. However, the limitations of using WoS databases should be acknowledged. Articles in D-Lib Magazine that cite the Magazine itself are not captured in the data collection due to the limited scope of WoS databases. Basically the impact of D-Lib Magazine reported here is a slice of a whole impact that was captured within scholarly journals of WoS. The scope of the WoS databases is restricted to a relatively small, high quality, sub-set of scholarly journals (Cronin, 2001). In addition, Cronin suggests that additional techniques are needed to capture the richness of citation activities (e.g., web-based citation analysis) on the Net as more scholarly communication move to the web environment. The limitations of data sources relying solely on WoS were well presented in Meho and Yang's research (2007). In their investigation, a more comprehensive picture of citation counts and rankings of LIS faculty emerged by use of Scopus and Google Scholar in addition to WoS.


Data Analysis and Discussion

Author Productivity

There are a total of 642 articles and 1,022 principal and collaborate authors from July 1995 to May/June 2008. Among 1,022 total authors, 789 (77%) made one contribution and 23% made more than one contribution. Some 26 authors made five or more contributions; two authors contributed 16 articles, and another two published 13. Table 1 shows a detailed distribution of all author contributions.

TABLE 1: Frequency distribution of author productivity.

Number of articles contributed Number of authors producing that number
(all author total = 1,022)
16 2
13 2
10 1
9 1
8 3
7 5
6 4
5 8
4 20
3 49
2 138
1 789


Authors in the Magazine made slightly more multiple contributions over the 13-year period than authors in other journals. For example, about 78% of authors in JASIS (for the period 1970 to 1996) made only one contribution (Al-Ghamdi, et al., 1998). Of the LAPT authors, about 81% made only a single contribution for the 19-year period (Nisonger, 1996). These findings regarding the Magazine's author productivity are similar to the trends of JASIS author productivity. Table 2 gives the ranked order list of the most productive authors in D-Lib Magazine.

TABLE 2: The most productive authors.

Name Number of contributions
Lagoze, C 16
Van de Sompel, H 16
Nelson, M 13
Weibel, S 13
Arms, W 10
Gladney, H 9
Fox, E 8
Dempsey, L 8
Payette, S 8
Bearman, D 7
Crane, G 7
King, D 7
Lavoie, B 7
Young, J 7


Author Collaboration

Only 43% of papers in D-Lib Magazine were written by a single author. About 25% were written by two authors and about 13% by three. One article was written by 13 authors. Therefore, almost 57% were written by two or more authors. The collaboration rate in D-Lib Magazine is higher than the ratios reported by previous authorship studies. Co-authorship in JASIS for the 1970-1996 period was about 39% (Al-Ghamdi, et al., 1998); and for JASIS 2001-2002 articles, 58% were by multiple authors (Liu, 2003). The collaboration rate in LIS has increased in recent years.


The proportion of male authors in D-Lib was much higher than reported in other authorship studies. Overall, 74% of all authors are male, although women authors increased to 40% during the latest two years of collected data (May/June 2006-May/June 2008). That male predominance in digital libraries is much higher than in other fields of library and information science might account for this pattern. The high ratio of male authors in the Magazine is not surprising because digital library research tends to be federally funded and conducted by scholars from the computing disciplines (Mischo, 2005). It may also conform to the pattern of membership in the digital community. Previous reports on gender ratios in LIS journals show a high proportion of female authors. Buttlar's study in 1991 using 16 library periodicals showed that 48% of authors were male, as did Terry's CRL study in 1996. Analysis of one of the most respected journals in information science, JASIS, reported 60% male authors in the period 1970-1990 (Al-Ghamdi, et al., 1998). Women contributed 53% to 65% of the papers at the ACRL Conferences in the early years 1978 to 1992 and up to 68% to 71% for the last six conferences (Fennewald, 2007).

Institutional Affiliation

With regard to D-Lib, the 17 most productive institutions, based on authorship affiliation, are listed below. About 35% of the total contributions were made by authors who were affiliated with these institutions. As shown below, authors affiliated with universities are leading the digital library field. A survey discussed in the 2009 March/April issue of the Magazine reported about 59% of respondents are working in the higher education setting (Wilson, 2009). Many of these highly productive institutions are also members or allies (e.g., OCLC, Los Alamos National Laboratory) of the Digital Library Federation (DLF).

Cornell University (95)
OCLC (52)
Old Dominion University (39)
University of Michigan (35)
Stanford University (32)
University of California-Berkeley (32)
Virginia Tech (26)
University of California-Santa Barbara (25)
IBM affiliated research centers (25)
John Hopkins University (25)
Los Alamos National Laboratory (23)
University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign (23)
Corporation for National Research Initiatives (20)
San Diego Supercomputer Center (20)
University of Tennessee (20)
Harvard University (19)
Columbia University (18)

Geographic Distribution of Authors

Authors from the United States contributed 70% of articles in D-Lib Magazine. About 12% of authors were from the United Kingdom and about 3% from Germany. The analysis is based on the location of the authors' institutional affiliation, not their actual nationality. About a dozen authors were counted for more than one geographical location due to changes in their affiliation. Ten countries dominated all contributions (96%). The three most productive countries in the Magazine are in the same ranked order of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany as reported on digital libraries by Singh, Mittal, and Ahmad (2007). Table 3 lists the number of contributions from these 10 countries. The proportion of international authors in library and information science journals has gradually been increasing. Buttlar (1991) reported about 12% non-U.S. authors in 16 library and information science periodicals over the period 1987-1989. Nisonger (1996 ) reported 15% of LAPT authors were from non-U.S. areas; Lipetz (1999) found that 30% of JASIS authors in 1995 were from outside the U.S. He and Spink (2002) reported a 47% international authorship rate (non-British) in Journal of Documentation.

TABLE 3: Geographic distribution of authors.

Country Number of contributions
United States 718
United Kingdom 118
Germany 30
Australia 23
Spain 18
Italy 16
New Zealand 16
Canada 15
Netherlands 14
Japan 13


Number of References

There were 9,532 references included in the 642 articles in D-Lib Magazine. Therefore on average, 15 references were included in each item. One paper contains 81 citations. There are 64 papers with no references (about 10%). In the period July 1995-2000, there were 2,918 references in the 283 papers (average 10.3 references); 3,683 references in 204 papers in January 2001-December 2004 (18 references average); 2,931 references in 155 papers during the January 2005-May/June 2008 period (average 18.9 references). Therefore, the number of references in the Magazine has been increasing over time. The increasing number of references suggests the Magazine is becoming more scholarly. Cline's (1982) CRL study for the 1975-1979 period showed a similar (15.46) number of references per article. Lipetz (1999) reported an average 30.5 references per article in JASIS, 1995.


Impact of D-Lib Magazine

Most Cited D-Lib Articles and Most Cited D-Lib Authors

To examine the impact of D-Lib Magazine on the larger community of scholarly journals, the most cited D-Lib Magazine articles, the most cited D-Lib Magazine authors were examined. It should be mentioned again that data obtained through ISI tools will provide general trends and patterns within WoS databases. The seven most frequently cited D-Lib Magazine articles were identified. The impact within D-Lib Magazine is not counted as the Magazine is not included in WoS. Table 4 shows the most often cited D-Lib Magazine articles in ranked order.

TABLE 4: Most frequently cited D-Lib articles.

Article title Author (Authors) Publication date Number of times cited
Social Bookmarking Tools Tony Hammond, Timo Hannay, Ben Lund, Joanna Scott April 2005 33
Comparing the Impact of Open Access (OA) vs. Non-OA articles in the Same Journals Stevan Harnad, Tim Brody June 2004 31
An Examination of Citation Counts in a New Scholarly Communication Environment Kathleen Bauer, Nisa Bakkalbasi Sept. 2005 24
Towards the Hybrid Library Chris Rusbridge July/August 1998 21
Patterns of Journal Use by Scientists through Three Evolutionary Phases Carol Tenopir, Donald W. King, Peter Boyce, Matt Grayson, Yan Zhang, Mercy Ebuen May 2003 21
Metadata Principles and Practicalities Erik Duval, Wayne Hodgins, Stuart Sutton, Stuart L. Weibel April 2002 20
Santa Fe Convention of Open Archives Initiative Herbert Van de Sompel, Carl Lagoze Feb. 2000 20


Comparison of the seven most cited D-Lib Magazine articles and the most productive D-Lib authors found that there is a relationship between the frequency of cited articles and author productivity. Some names were found on both lists of the most productive authors as well as the most cited D-Lib Magazine articles. For example, Herbert Van de Sompel at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Stuart Weibel at OCLC, Carl Lagoze at Cornell are on both lists. However, an article entitled, "An Examination of Citation Counts in a New Scholarly Communication Environment," by Kathleen Bauer and Nisa Bakkalbasi in the September 2005 issue was cited 24 times, but both Bauer and Bakkalbasi published only once. An author's total number of D-Lib publications does not correlate with the total number of citations received from the external journals.

Table 5 shows the top ten D-Lib Magazine authors who are most often cited with the numbers of citations. Comparison of the most productive and the most cited authors, found several names in both categories. For instance, Herbert Van de Sompel at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Stuart Weibel at OCLC, William Y Arms (one of the Magazine's former editors), and Carl Lagoze at Cornell University are all productive and highly cited authors.

TABLE 5: Most frequently cited D-Lib Magazine authors.

Name Number of citing articles Country
Van de Sompel, H 73 US
Harnad, S 71 UK
Weibel, S 52 US
Arms, WY 41 US
Lagoze, C 37 US
Lynch, C 33 US
Bearman, D 32 US
Rusbridge, C 29 UK
Pinfield, S 28 UK
King, DW 27 US


WoS Journals citing D-Lib Magazine

The journals in WoS which most frequently cite D-Lib Magazine were identified. The most frequently citing journals are in ranked order: the Lecture Notes in Computer Science series, then Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (and JASIS), Online Information Review, Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries, Program: Electronic Library and Information Systems, Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, Library Trends, Journal of Academic Librarianship, Journal of Documentation, and Information Processing & Management. About 40% of D-Lib Magazine citations were from these 10 journals and conference proceedings in WoS. The Lecture Notes in Computer Science series contains proceeding papers but the coverage of conference proceedings in WoS appears to be very limited. For example, DL-related conferences such as ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Conference on Digital Libraries, ACM Conference on Digital Libraries, IEEE Advances in Digital Libraries are not included in WoS; as a result, the citations received in those publications are not counted.

Authors who Cite D-Lib Magazine, their Affiliated Institutes, Geographic Distribution and Subject Categories

Table 6 lists in ranked order the authors who cite D-Lib Magazine most often. One author, Charles Oppenheim, affiliated with the University of Loughborough, UK cited D-Lib Magazine in his 14 publications, and GG Chowdhury, affiliated with Nanyang Technological University, Singapore in his 13 publications. However, the impact of citation counts would be much higher if we count citations at each article-level instead of at journal-level. For example, an article, "Digital Library Research: Major Issues and Trends," by GG Chowdhury in the September 1999 issue of Journal of Documentation cites almost 30 D-Lib articles in its 114 references.

TABLE 6: Authors who cite D-Lib Magazine.

Name Number of publications Country
Oppenheim, C 14 UK
Chowdhury, GG 13 Singapore
Fox, EA 13 US
Nicholas, D 11 Canada
Nelson, ML 10 US
Huntington, P 8 UK
McGrath, M 8 UK
Foo, S 7 Singapore
Kling, R 7 US


In the U.S., authors affiliated with the University of Illinois, Indiana University and the University of North Carolina cited D-Lib Magazine most often in their publications that are indexed in the WoS databases. Authors affiliated with the University of Strathclyde and the University of Loughborough in Great Britain most frequently cited D-Lib Magazine in their works. Those institutions are not necessarily associated with the most productive D-Lib authors. Authors associated with universities were the most frequent citers of D-Lib Magazine.

D-Lib Magazine was cited by authors in more than 50 countries from six continents; 50% of the citations were from the US; 13% from England, 4% from Germany, and 3% each from Scotland, Spain and Australia. Authors from around the globe cited the Magazine in their publications, with citations from: China, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Cyprus, Indonesia, Malta, Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay. U.S. authors contributed 70% of publications but made only 50% of the citations to it. Contributions to the Magazine are dominated by a few countries. As discussed previously, only 10 countries accounted for about 96% of total contributions, while citations to the magazine were dispersed among a large number of countries worldwide.

Table 7 shows the ten academic fields from which citations to D-Lib Magazine are most often made as identified in journal articles, conference papers, and book series that are indexed in the WoS databases. Citations came from 52 fields in 1995-2002, 58 fields in 2003-2005, and 74 fields in 2006-2008. The top 10 disciplines/fields citing D-Lib Magazine are listed with the cited frequencies. A journal may be categorized in more than one subject category and thus the citation counts may include double counting. More than 60% of the citations to D-Lib Magazine were from publications in the information and library science area. However, the breadth of the Magazine's impact has reached authors in other fields and professional areas in recent years. Articles in the Magazine received citations from the fields of art, history, law, medicine, music, and philosophy as well as multiple sciences. More recently the Magazine was cited in broad areas of humanities multidisciplinary, social sciences interdisciplinary, and sociology.

TABLE 7: Academic fields citing D-Lib Magazine.

Subject Number of citations
Information science and library science 747
Computer science, information systems 395
Computer science, theory and methods 197
Computer science, software engineering 61
Computer science, interdisciplinary applications 52
Computer science, artificial intelligence 44
Engineering, electrical and electronic 39
Computer science, hardware and architecture 31
Telecommunications 22
Education and educational research 20




About 77% of authors made a single contribution to D-Lib Magazine. About 2% (26) of all authors contributed 5 or more times over the 13 year period covered in this investigation. For comparison, the most frequent contributor to JASIS for the period 1970-1996 made 14 contributions and another made 13 (Al-Ghamdi, et al., 1998). In contrast, two authors in D-Lib Magazine made 16 contributions over a shorter time period, 1995-2008. This may reflect the difference between peer-reviewed and non peer-reviewed status, as well as different publication frequencies and article length.

Collaborative authorship (at 57%) in D-Lib Magazine is higher than co-authorship rates reported by other information science journal studies. The collaboration rate has been steadily increasing in other LIS journals as well. In JASIS collaboration increased from 39% for the 1970-1996 period (Al-Ghamdi, et al., 1998) to 58% for the 2001-2002 period (Liu, 2003). D-Lib Magazine appears closer to a scientific co-authorship pattern than other information science journals.

Regarding the authors' gender, male dominance is obvious (74%), much higher than the rates reported in other LIS journals. For example, Buttlar (1991) and Terry (1996) reported 52% female authors in their investigations respectively. Women authors in the ACRL Conferences were 53% in the period 1978-1984 and 71% in the 2001-2005 period (Fennewald, 2007).

Authors in higher educational settings or who are affiliated with universities are leaders and major contributors in digital libraries. Among the top 17 affiliated institutions, only five are not situated within universities — OCLC, the IBM affiliated research centers, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Corporation for National Research Initiatives, and the San Diego Supercomputer Center. The most frequent contributors to the Magazine are computer scientists. A high portion of authors are affiliated with U.S. institutions (70%), and the U.S. leads digital library research and development, while ten countries made 96% of all contributions. The portion of international authorship in D-Lib Magazine seems to be about average compared to other journals in the LIS field.

D-Lib Magazine seems to enjoy high citation rates. It was cited 1,273 times during the 1995-2008 period. Academic institutions are major producers of DL research and major consumers that cited the Magazine most often. The Magazine also has been cited in more than 50 countries. About 50% of cited work comes from authors outside the U.S. D-Lib Magazine seems to be well received internationally. As a free networked journal, the high use of the Magazine may be attributable to its availability on the Web. The Magazine was cited in 74 fields in 2006-2008, illustrating an interdisciplinary impact. The multidisciplinary nature of digital libraries has been reported in the Digital Library Manifesto (Candela, et al., 2007).

This investigation adds to the understanding of the authorship characteristics of a "born digital" journal. Bibliometric studies of journals are a well-established research genre; this perspective helps in demonstrating scholarly trends and communication in the LIS subject area. As discussed in the related studies section, most of this research has been conducted for print journals; this study extends the analysis to a born-digital, web-based journal. As reported in a recent investigation, D-Lib Magazine was ranked first with the most contributions among 212 journals in digital libraries and considered a respected literature source in the area (Singh, Mittal, & Ahmad, 2007). This bibliometric study of D-Lib Magazine illuminates the digital library community in terms of their scholarly productivity, active scholars, affiliated institutions and the geographic distribution of scholarly works in DL research and development. The influence and impact of D-Lib Magazine on the larger scholarly community were identified — the most cited D-Lib articles, the most cited Magazine authors, the authors who cite the Magazine most often, their affiliated institutions, the associated academic and interdisciplinary fields, and the most frequently citing WoS Journals. Research in digital libraries reflected in D-Lib Magazine was contributed by authors affiliated with a few academic institutions in the developed countries during the last 13 years but the wide impact of the Magazine was illustrated by its international and interdisciplinary citation record.



This research was partially supported by Indiana University Librarians Association for data collection. I am grateful to Dr. Thomas Nisonger and Dr. Debora Shaw for their critical reading and editorial assistance on the paper.



Al-Ghamdi, A., Al-Harbi, M., Beacom, N.A.B., Dedolph, J., Deignan, M., Elftmann, C., et al. (1998), Authorship in JASIS: A quantitative analysis. [Online]. Katharine Sharp Review, 6 [online]. Available: http://mirrored.ukoln.ac.uk/lis-journals/review/review/6/al_ghamdi.html [19 June, 2009]

Buttlar, L. (1991). Analyzing the library periodical literature: Content and authorship. College & Research Libraries, 52(1), 38-53.

Candela, L., Castelli, D., Pagano, P., Thanos, C., Ioannidis, Y., Koutrika, G., et al. (2007). Setting the foundations of digital libraries. D-Lib Magzine, 13 (3/4). Retrieved June 22, 2009, from doi:10.1045/march2007-castelli

Cline, G.S. (1982). College & Research Libraries: Its first forty years. College & Research Libraries, 43(5), 208-232.

Cronin, B. (2001). Bibliometrics and beyond: Some thoughts on web-based citation analysis. Journal of Information Science, 27(1), 1-7. doi:10.1177/016555150102700101

Cronin, B. and Shaw, D. (2007). Peers and spheres of influence: Situating Rob Kling. The Information Society, 23 (4), 221-233. doi:10.1080/01972240701444147

Fennewald, J. (2007). The ACRL Conferences: A profile of its presenters. College & Research Libraries 68(2), 107-118.

Friedlander, Amy (1995). From the editor. D-Lib Magazine, 1(1). Retrieved August 20, 2008, from doi:cnri.dlib/july95-friedlander

Guardia, C. (Ed.) (2008). Magazines for Libraries. 17th ed. New Province, N.J. : ProQuest. ISBN:1-60030-116-9

He, S. and Spink, A. (2002). A comparison of foreign authorship distribution in JASIST and the Journal of Documentation. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 53(11), 953-959.

Lipetz, B.A. (1999). Aspects of JASIS authorship through five decades. Journal of the American Society for Information Science 50 (11), 994-1003.

Liu, J. (2003). A bibliometric study: Author productivity and co-authorship features of JASIST 2001-2002. Mississippi Libraries, 67 (4), 110-112.

Meho, L.I. and Yang, K. (2007). Impact of data sources on citation counts and rankings of LIS faculty: Web of Science versus Scopus and Google Scholar. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 58 (13), 2105-2125. doi:10.1002/asi.20677

Metz, P. (1989). A statistical profile of College & Research Libraries. College & Research Libraries, 50 (1), 42-47.

Mischo, W.H. (2005). Digital libraries: Challenges and influential work. D-Lib Magazine, 11(7/8). Retrieved June 22, 2009, from doi:10.1045/july2005-mischo

Nisonger, T.E. (1996). Authorship in Library Acquisitions: Practice and Theory. Library Acquisitions, 20 (4), 395-419. doi:10.1016/S0364-6408(96)00080-4

Park, T.K. (2008). Asian and Pacific region authorship characteristics in leading library and information science journals. Serials Review, 34 (4), 243-251. doi:10.1016/j.serrev.2008.08.004

Singh, G., Mittal, R., and Ahmad, M (2007). A bibliometric study of literature on digital libraries. Electronic Library, 25(3), 342-348. doi:10.1108/02640470710754841

Terry, J.L. (1996). Authorship in College & Research Libraries revisited: Gender, institutional affiliation, collaboration. College & Research Libraries, 57(7), 377-383.

Wilson, B. (2009). Some results from the 2008 D-Lib Magazine survey. D-Lib Magazine, 15 (3/4). Retrieved September 2, 2009, from doi:10.1045/march2009-editorial

Wilson, B. and Powell, A (2005). A tenth anniversary for D-Lib Magazine. D-Lib Magazine, 11 (7/8). Retrieved October 2, 2008, from doi:10.1045/july2005-wilson

Wilson, B. (2008) What's in a name? Categories of D-Lib content defined. D-Lib Magazine, 14 (3/4). doi:10.1045/march2008-editorial

Young, A.P. (2006). Library Quarterly, 1956-2004: An exploratory bibliometric analysis. Library Quarterly, 76 (1), 10-18. doi:10.1086/504342


About the Author

Photo of Taemin Kim Park

Taemin Kim Park is an Associate Librarian in the Indiana University Libraries, and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of Library and Information Science, Indiana University, Bloomington where she has responsibility in cataloging and teaching cataloging-related courses. Ms. Park has published in Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Library Quarterly, Serials Review, and Serials Librarian. She has been active in ALA and serves on the Editorial Board of Serials Review. She holds a MLS, Ph.D in Library and Information Science from the Indiana University.

transparent image