Forecasting the future of library and information science and its sub-fields

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SCIENTOMETRICS, vol.126, no.2, pp.1527-1551, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 126 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11192-020-03800-2
  • Journal Name: SCIENTOMETRICS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, FRANCIS, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, BIOSIS, CINAHL, Computer & Applied Sciences, Index Islamicus, Information Science and Technology Abstracts, INSPEC, Library and Information Science Abstracts, Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts (LISTA), PAIS International, RILM Abstracts of Music Literature, zbMATH
  • Page Numbers: pp.1527-1551
  • Keywords: Forecasting, Library and information science, Sub-field analysis, Disciplinary differences, Time series analysis, TIME-SERIES ANALYSIS, SOCIAL MEDIA, BIBLIOMETRIC ANALYSIS, NOBEL-PRIZE, CITATION, COUNTS, IMPACT, TELECOMMUNICATIONS, GROWTH, MODEL
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Forecasting is one of the methods applied in many studies in the library and information science (LIS) field for numerous purposes, from making predictions of the next Nobel laureates to potential technological developments. This study sought to draw a picture for the future of the LIS field and its sub-fields by analysing 97 years of publication and citation patterns. The core Web of Science indexes were used as the data source, and 123,742 articles were examined in-depth for time series analysis. The social network analysis method was used for sub-field classification. The field was divided into four sub-fields: (1) librarianship and law librarianship, (2) health information in LIS, (3) scientometrics and information retrieval and (4) management and information systems. The results of the study show that the LIS sub-fields are completely different from each other in terms of their publication and citation patterns, and all the sub-fields have different dynamics. Furthermore, the number of publications, references and citations will increase significantly in the future. It is expected that more scholars will work together. The future subjects of the LIS field show astonishing diversity from fake news to predatory journals, open government, e-learning and electronic health records. However, the findings prove that publish or perish culture will shape the field. Therefore, it is important to go beyond numbers. It can only be achieved by understanding publication and citation patterns of the field and developing research policies accordingly.