Historiography of research in the field of memory and intelligence: A scientometric approach

Dimitar TOMOV
Department of Health Economics and Management, Prof. Paraskev Stoyanov Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria
dimtomov AT yahoo.com

Computer-aided historiography represents a valuable method for identification and prognostication of the essential international communication patterns of science development. The capacity of a complex scientometric methodology to outline the specific role of the components of published research in a given field of rising socio-medical importance, i. e. of memory-related intelligence, was illustrated. A set of bibliometric indicators (Tomov, 1998) was used to comparatively study the historical development of the world publication output as reflected in MEDLINE (1955-2004) and in EMBASE (1980-2004). Several parameters were dynamically followed-up: journal titles (number; thematic profile; belonging to this specific field, to certain disciplines or sciences; mono-, bi-, inter- or multidisciplinary as well as national or international journals; country belonging); authorsí names and affiliations; types of journal publications, and rate of appearance of new specialized journals and scientific institutions. There were 1128 relevant documents in EMBASE and 1215 ones in MEDLINE. In the 1980s, both data-bases contained similar amounts of abstracted publications while in 2000-2004 EMBASE sharply predominated (with 513 vs 234 papers, 93 vs 45 journals from 20 vs 11 countries). In MEDLINE in 1963-1965, there were 34 relevant papers by a total of 61 authors in 29 journals from 8 countries; in 1980 in both databases - 27 papers by 59 authors in 24 journals from 9 countries and in 2004, 182 papers by 793 authors in 116 journals from 29 countries. In 2004, there were 15 mono-, 22 bi-, 8 three-disciplinary and 14 problem-oriented thematic journal profiles. The relative share of single-authorís articles gradually decreased. Institutionalization of research presented with permanent diversification, differentiation and integration. The thematic non-coincidence between institutions and journals proved the continuous emergence, interdisciplinary and international dissemination and exchange of ideas and methods. This scientometric approach to the historiography of narrow-topic research could further improve science planning and management.

Poster Session
Saturday, 24 June 2006, 11.00 am - 12.30 pm

11th Annual Meeting of the International Society for the History of the Neurosciences (ISHN)

Pavia, Italy, 2006