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The shift towards multi-disciplinarity in information science

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Abstract

This article analyzes the collaboration trends, authorship and keywords of all research articles published in the Journal of American Society for Information Science and Technology (JASIST). Comparing the articles between two 10-year periods, namely, 1988–1997 and 1998–2007, the three-fold objectives are to analyze the shifts in (a) authors' collaboration trends (b) top authors, their affiliations as well as the pattern of coauthorship among them, and (c) top keywords and the subdisciplines from which they emerge. The findings reveal a distinct tendency towards collaboration among authors, with external collaborations becoming more prevalent. Top authors have grown in diversity from those being affiliated predominantly with library/information-related departments to include those from information systems management, information technology, businesss, and the humanities. Amid heterogeneous clusters of collaboration among top authors, strongly connected cross-disciplinary coauthor pairs have become more prevalent. Correspondingly, the distribution of top keywords' occurrences that leans heavily on core information science has shifted towards other subdisciplines such as information technology and sociobehavioral science.

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