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					 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LIBRARY AND INFORMATION – 3533 (Print) ISSN:
International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 SCIENCE (IJLIS)
2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue 2, July - December 2013, © IAEME
ISSN : 2277 – 3533 (Print)
ISSN : 2277 – 3584 (Online)

Volume 2, Issue 2, July - December (2013), pp. 1-12                             IJLIS
© IAEME: www.iaeme.com/ijlis.html
Journal Impact Factor (2013): 5.1389 (Calculated by GISI),
www.jifactor.com                                                            ©IAEME



BRADFORD’S LAW AND THE RESEARCH PRODUCTIVITY OF ENVIRONMENTAL
   SCIENCE RESEARCHERS IN SELECTED UNIVERSITIES OF SOUTH INDIA
                                          T. Seeman
                                       Research Scholar
                         Department of Library and Information Science
                                    Annamalai University

                                      Dr. P. Sivaraman
                                     Associate Professor
                         Department of Library and Information Science
                                  Distance Education Wing
                                    Annamalai University

INTRODUCTION
        The Scientometric approach is based on quantitative characteristics and attributes or
objects of documentary flows.1 It is a tool by which the state of science and technology can be
observed through the traces of communication in the science-technology system, most notably
the published documents which comprise books, monographs, reports, theses, papers in serials
and periodicals, and nowadays also e-books and e-journals as well as – in the broadest sense –
the WEB2. Researchers in several disciplines have been interested in publication productivity as
a means of assessing scholarly excellence of individual researchers within a field. 3–7 Publication
productivity, as measured by the number of papers, has also been regarded as one of the main
indicators of reputation of institutions in general8–11 and academic institutions in particular.12–13
The researchers of Library and Information Science extensively use scientometrics as a tool to
identify the pattern of publication, authorship and secondary journal coverage with the objective
of getting an insight into the dynamics of growth of knowledge in the areas under consideration.



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International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print) ISSN:
2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue 2, July - December 2013, © IAEME

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The research was undertaken with the following objectives:

 1.    To study the annual growth rate of environmental science literature in selected
       universities of South India;
 2.    To examine the sources of distribution of research output in selected universities of South
       India;
 3.    To identify the journal articles as source of information; and
 4.    To identify the core journals in the field of environmental sciences using Bradford’s law.

METHODS AND TECHNIQUES

        The whole data for nineteen universities in South India for the period 2000 – 2012 were
retrieved from Web of Science – Science Citation Index Expanded during June 2012 and January
2013. A total of 7694 records of various types, comprising Articles, Meeting Abstracts, Reviews,
Bibliographic Items, Editorial Material, Letters, Corrections, and News Items was retrieved. A
total 6784 records in the form of journal articles have been considered for applying Bradford’s
Law to identify core journals in the field of environmental sciences.

BRADFORD’S LAW OF SCATTERING

        Bradford’s law of scattering has been adopted to examine the entire Journal titles
contributing to a bibliography those were focused in the field of environmental sciences in
selected universities of South India. The Journals are arranged in the order of decreasing
productivity. They are divided into a nucleus of Journals/ periodicals more particularly devoted
to the science research and several groups or zones containing the same number of articles as the
nucleus where the number of periodicals in the nucleus and the succeeding zones will be as 1: n :
n2. For describing the scattering phenomena, the following formula is adopted:

        F ( x)  a  b log x                                                (eq...1)
Where F(x) is the cumulative number of references as contained in the first - x most productive
journal and ‘a’ and ‘b’ are constants,

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Annual Research Output
       The annual research output of environmental science research in the selected universities
of South India for the period 2000 – 2012 has been presented in Table 1. The result indicates
that the number of publications in 2000 was 313 that rose to 1075 in 2012. The highest output
was observed in 2012 that accounts for 13.97 percent of total output over the period of study. It

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International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print) ISSN:
2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue 2, July - December 2013, © IAEME

was found that a steady growth in terms of productivity was observed throughout the period of
study. However, there was a sudden increase in 2008 and 2012 while there was a declining trend
observed in 2003 and 2011.
                      Table 1: Distribution of Annual Research Output
                                                                  Cumulative
              Year        Research Output       Percentage
                                                                  Percentage
              2000               313               4.07               4.07
              2001               325               4.22               8.29
              2002               378               4.91               13.21
              2003               357               4.64               17.85
              2004               400               5.20               23.05
              2005               440               5.72               28.76
              2006               507               6.59               35.35
              2007               568               7.38               42.74
              2008               691               8.98               51.72
              2009               759               9.86               61.58
              2010               954              12.40               73.98
              2011               927              12.05               86.03
              2012              1075              13.97              100.00
              Total             7694              100.00

Sources of Publications
        The results based on the distribution of research output of environmental science
researchers in selected universities of South India by sources of publications have been presented
in Table 2. The identified channels include journal articles, letters, reviews, corrections, editorial
material, meeting abstracts, proceedings, bibliographical items and news items. Table 2 presents
a complete scenario of different forms of periodical and non-periodical literature which were
used by environmental science researchers in selected universities of South India for their
research publications. The analysis of publications of 7694 records revealed that journal articles
occupy predominant position sharing 88.17 percent of total research output. The other ranked
sources include reviews (4.89 percent), meeting abstracts (2.89 percent), proceedings (2.08
percent), editorial material (0.82 percent), corrections (0.53 percent), letters (0.49 percent), news
items (0.1 percent), and bibliographic items (0.1 percent).




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International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print) ISSN:
2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue 2, July - December 2013, © IAEME

                    Table 2: Source wise Distribution of Research Output

                                                       No. of
        Sl. No.              Source                                      %        Cum. %
                                                     Publications
           1       Articles                             6784           88.17      88.17
           2       Review                                376           4.89       93.06
           3       Meeting Abstracts                     216           2.81       95.86
           4       Proceedings                           160           2.08       97.94
           5       Editorial Material                    63            0.82       98.76
           6       Corrections                           41            0.53       99.30
           7       Letters                               38            0.49       99.79
           8       News Items                             8            0.10       99.89
           9       Bibliographic Items                    8            0.10       100.00
                        Total                           7694            100

Sources of Publications: Year-wise Analysis

        The benefit of research to society is accrued when it is communicated in the form of
literature. There are different types of sources in which the research findings of scientists can be
communicated. The results of year wise analysis of sources have been reported in Table 3. The
researchers communicate their research results through various channels such as journal articles,
reviews, meeting abstracts, editorial-material, and bibliographic items. As found in any other
discipline, major portions of the research results in the form of articles have appeared in research
journals. The journal articles rank first in order sharing 88.17 percent of the total number of
publications reported during the study period. Reviews come second in order sharing 4.89
percent followed by Meeting Abstracts (2.81%), Proceedings (2.08%), Editorial Material
(0.82%), Corrections (0.53%), Letters (0.49%), News Items (0.10%), and Bibliographic Items
(0.10%). Out of various sources, the first four forms namely journal articles, reviews, meeting
abstracts and proceedings share the major portion of the total publications.
        The year-wise analysis indicates that the journal articles have grown steadily throughout
the period of study recording 6784 records except for 2001, 2003, and 2011. The records in 2000
were 286 that rose to 957 in 2012. In the case of reviews, an increasing trend was observed in all
the years except for 2002, 2004, and 2005. Similarly, the same trend was noticed in the case of
other forms of publications as well. The overall period witnessed that the growth of sources
irrespective of the category after 2007 was quite encouraging.




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 International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print) ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue
 2, July - December 2013, © IAEME

                                        Table 3: Distribution of Sources: Year wise Analysis
                                     Meeting                     Editorial                                News      Biblio.
Year      Articles      Review                    Proceedings                 Corrections    Letters                             Total
                                     Abstracts                   Material                                 Items     Items
2000     286 (4.22)     12 (3.19)     5 (2.31)      6 (3.75)        ---        2 (4.88)      1 (2.63)       ---     1 (12.5)   313 (4.07)

2001     276 (4.07)     14 (3.72)    14 (6.48)     13 (8.13)      2 (3.17)        ---       6 (15.79)       ---       ---      325 (4.22)

2002     341 (5.03)     9 (2.39)      9 (4.17)      16 (10)         ---        2 (4.88)      1 (2.63)       ---       ---      378 (4.91)

2003     312 (4.6)      20 (5.32)    13 (6.02)      6 (3.75)      1 (1.59)     3 (7.32)      2 (5.26)       ---       ---      357 (4.64)

2004     357 (5.26)     19 (5.05)     7 (3.24)     11 (6.88)      1 (1.59)     2 (4.88)      3 (7.89)       ---       ---       400 (5.2)

2005     384 (5.66)     15 (3.99)    26 (12.04)     9 (5.63)      4 (6.35)     1 (2.44)      1 (2.63)       ---       ---      440 (5.72)

2006     431 (6.35)     18 (4.79)    25 (11.57)     24 (15)       2 (3.17)     4 (9.76)      2 (5.26)       ---     1 (12.5)   507 (6.59)

2007     502 (7.4)      24 (6.38)    22 (10.19)    15 (9.38)      1 (1.59)     1 (2.44)      2 (5.26)       ---     1 (12.5)   568 (7.38)

2008     617 (9.09)     25 (6.65)    12 (5.56)     22 (13.75)     6 (9.52)     3 (7.32)     5 (13.16)    1 (12.5)     ---      691 (8.98)

2009    689 (10.16)     35 (9.31)     7 (3.24)      12 (7.5)      5 (7.94)     8 (19.51)     2 (5.26)    1 (12.5)     ---      759 (9.86)

2010     821 (12.1)    56 (14.89)    45 (20.83)      8 (5)      11 (17.46)     4 (9.76)     4 (10.53)     2 (25)    3 (37.5)   954 (12.4)

2011    811 (11.95)    57 (15.16)    24 (11.11)     12 (7.5)    14 (22.22)     5 (12.2)      2 (5.26)    1 (12.5)   1 (12.5)   927 (12.05)
                                                                                                                                  1075
2012    957 (14.11)    72 (19.15)     7 (3.24)      6 (3.75)     16 (25.4)     6 (14.63)    7 (18.42)    3 (37.5)   1 (12.5)
                                                                                                                                 (13.97)
Total   6784 (88.17)   376 (4.89)    216 (2.81)    160 (2.08)    63 (0.82)     41 (0.53)    38 (0.49)     8 (0.1)   8 (0.1)    7694 (100)

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International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print) ISSN:
2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue 2, July - December 2013, © IAEME

Distribution of Journal Articles

        Journals articles, being the predominant source of publication for the researchers in the
field of environmental sciences from selected universities in South India, were analysed to assess
the annual growth rate of journal articles. As can be seen in Table 4, the output of articles in the
year 2000 witnessed 286 publications and it rose to 957 in 2012. It is clear that a steady growth
was observed throughout the period of study. However, decreasing trend was also observed in
2001, 2003, and 2011. It could be deduced that the productivity in the form journal articles by
the researchers of environmental sciences from selected universities of South India was slow at
the beginning of the study period till 2006. The trend was quite encouraging from 2007 onwards.
It is evident from the result that the percentage share of articles published during 2000 to 2006
ranges between 4 and 6 percent. Whereas the percentage share of articles published from 2007
onwards went up to 14.11 percent. However, the percentage share was noted between 7 and 15
percent. The overall period witnessed the increasing trend in terms of research productivity in the
form of journal articles.

                          Table 4: Distribution of Articles: Year wise

                           Year          Articles       %         Cum. %
                           2000           286          4.22         4.22
                           2001           276          4.07         8.29
                           2002           341          5.03        13.31
                           2003           312          4.60        17.91
                           2004           357          5.26        23.18
                           2005           384          5.66        28.84
                           2006           431          6.35        35.19
                           2007           502          7.40        42.59
                           2008           617          9.09        51.68
                           2009           689         10.16        61.84
                           2010           821         12.10        73.94
                           2011           811         11.95        85.90
                           2012           957         14.11       100.00
                           Total          6784        100.00

Distribution of Bradford’s Zones
Table 5 reports that a very small group of 38 journals identified in the nuclear or core zone
representing 4.05 percent of total journals covering maximum segment of information with 33.9
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International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print) ISSN:
2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue 2, July - December 2013, © IAEME

percent of articles while the second larger group of 116 journals, which represent 12.37 percent,
provides the next equal portion of 33.92 percent. The third largest of 784 (83.58 percent)
journals yield the next 2183 articles that account for 32.18 percent. According to Bradford’s
Law of distribution based on Equation (1) the relationship between the zones is 1:n:n2. But the
relationship between the zones in the present study is contradictory in each as 38:116:784 which
does not fit to Bradford’s distribution. It is clear that core distribution of articles has been
published by a very few journals which means less than what Bradford formulated.

                            Table 5: Distribution of Bradford Zones

      No. of Journals        % of Journals       No. of Articles      % of Articles       Zone
            38                   4.05                2300                33.90             1
           116                   12.37               2301                33.92             2
           784                   83.58               2183                32.18             3
           938                  100.00               6784               100.00

Ranking of Journals According to Bradford’s Distribution
        The Bradford’s law explains that when the journals are arranged in an order of decreasing
productivity, the journals with high productivity will be at last. The skewed distribution of
publications in different journals is not an exception in any field. During the period of study, the
environmental science researchers from the universities of South India have produced 6784
contributions scattered over 938 journals. Table 6 shows the observation that an analysis of the
number of papers published in each journal. There have been 121 papers given by one single
journal next to that 99 papers have been brought out by another journal. The third journal
individually published 92 papers. The next 9 journals have individually brought out papers
between 70 and 90. The next 78 journals have published papers between 20 and 70. The other
vast core of 849 journals has contributed less than 20 contributions.

                       Table 6: Ranking of journals according to Bradford

                                             Cum No. of       Cum No. of
     No. of Journals     No. of Articles                                           Rank
                                              Journals         Articles
            1                 121                1               121                  1
            1                  99                2               220                  2
            1                  92                3               312                  3
            1                  86                4               398                  4
            1                  81                5               479                  5
            1                  78                6               557                  6
            1                  77                7               634                  7
            1                  76                8               710                  8
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International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print) ISSN:
2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue 2, July - December 2013, © IAEME

                                          Cum No. of        Cum No. of
     No. of Journals   No. of Articles                                           Rank
                                           Journals          Articles
            1                75               9                785                 9
            1                74               10               859                 10
            2                70               12               999                 12
            1                68               13              1067                 13
            1                67               14              1134                 14
            3                65               17              1329                 17
            1                64               18              1393                 18
            1                61               19              1454                 19
            2                57               21              1568                 21
            1                54               22              1622                 22
            1                52               23              1674                 23
            1                50               24              1724                 24
            1                46               25              1770                 25
            1                45               26              1815                 26
            2                43               28              1901                 28
            2                42               30              1985                 30
            2                41               32              2067                 32
            2                40               34              2147                 34
            1                39               35              2186                 35
            3                38               38              2300                 38
            1                37               39              2337                 39
            3                33               42              2436                 42
            2                32               44              2500                 44
            2                31               46              2562                 46
            2                30               48              2622                 48
            6                28               54              2790                 54
            2                27               56              2844                 56
            7                26               63              3026                 63
            4                25               67              3126                 67
           10                23               77              3356                 74
            6                22               83              3488                 83
            1                21               84              3509                 84
            5                20               89              3609                 89
            2                19               91              3647                 91
            9                18              100              3809                100
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                                                                            Cum No. of                   Cum No. of
     No. of Journals    No. of Articles                                                                               Rank
                                                                             Journals                     Articles
            8                                17                                108                         3945       108
            9                                16                                117                         4089       117
           10                                15                                127                         4239       127
           11                                14                                138                         4393       138
           16                                13                                154                         4601       154
           42                                9                                 196                         4979       179
           21                                8                                 217                         5147       217
           17                                6                                 234                         5249       234
           60                                5                                 294                         5549       267
           34                                4                                 328                         5685       328
           128                               3                                 456                         6069       381
           233                               2                                 689                         6535       556
           249                               1                                 938                         6784       938
           938                              6784


Based on the data presented in Table 6, Bradford’s plot was made against cumulative number of
articles and logarithm of journals rank. The plot, indicates that the core journals are those whose
points lay on initial curved part of the ‘S’ until tangentially becomes a straight line. In the present
context, it was observed that the slope of the curve decreases slightly after the 38th journal.
Therefore, it appears that the top 38 journals are well in their way to form a core.
                                                          8000

                                                          7000
                             Cumulative No. of Articles




                                                          6000

                                                          5000

                                                          4000

                                                          3000

                                                          2000

                                                          1000

                                                             0
                                                                 1         10            100           1000   10000
                                                                                Journal's Rank (Log)




                                                                     Figure 1: Bradford’s Plot


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International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print) ISSN:
2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue 2, July - December 2013, © IAEME

CORE JOURNALS
On the basis of the number of articles published on environmental science research, the journals
have been ranked. Table 7 indicates the core journals in which environmental science researchers
preferred to publish their articles. Further, it was analysed to find out the key journals in the
field of environmental sciences which have brought out with more number of publications made
by the researchers. It was found that there were 938 journals identified in which the
environmental science researchers got their articles published over a period of study. There have
been 121 papers published by a single journal ‘Biochemical and Biophysical Research
Communications’ is ranked at the first position. The second position is taken by ‘Bioresource
Technology’ which is accounted to 99 publications of environmental science researchers in the
universities of South India. The other three journals namely World Journal of Microbiology &
Biotechnology, Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, and Indian Journal of Biochemistry &
Biophysics recorded the next three ranks sharing the total records of 92, 86, and 81 respectively.

                       Table 7: Ranking of Core Journals
  Sl.                                                No. of                   % of
                    Name of the Journal                                                  cum %
  No.                                                Articles                Articles
         BIOCHEMICAL AND BIOPHYSICAL
   1                                                   121                     1.78       1.78
         RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS
   2     BIORESOURCE TECHNOLOGY                         99                     1.46       3.24
         WORLD JOURNAL OF MICROBIOLOGY &
   3                                                    92                     1.36       4.60
         BIOTECHNOLOGY
         INDIAN JOURNAL OF TRADITIONAL
   4                                                    86                     1.27       5.86
         KNOWLEDGE
         INDIAN JOURNAL OF BIOCHEMISTRY &
   5                                                    81                     1.19       7.06
         BIOPHYSICS
   6     PLOS ONE                                       78                     1.15       8.21
   7     JOURNAL OF BIOSCIENCES                         77                     1.14       9.34
         ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND
   8                                                    76                     1.12      10.46
         ASSESSMENT
    9    JOURNAL OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS                 75                     1.11      11.57
   10    JOURNAL OF ETHNOPHARMACOLOGY                   74                     1.09      12.66
   11    CURRENT MICROBIOLOGY                           70                     1.03      13.69
   12    BIOORGANIC & MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY               70                     1.03      14.72
         INDIAN JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL
   13                                                   68                     1.00      15.72
         BIOLOGY
         COLLOIDS AND SURFACES B-
   14                                                   67                     0.99      16.71
         BIOINTERFACES
         MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR
   15                                                   65                     0.96      17.67
         BIOCHEMISTRY
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  Sl.                                                           No. of       % of
                        Name of the Journal                                             cum %
  No.                                                           Articles    Articles
  16     BIOLOGIA PLANTARUM                                       65         0.96        18.63
         APPLIED BIOCHEMISTRY AND
   17                                                             65          0.96       19.59
         BIOTECHNOLOGY
   18    JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL BIOLOGY                         64          0.94       20.53
   19    PLANT SCIENCE                                            61          0.90       21.43
         INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF
   20                                                             57          0.84       22.27
         BIOLOGICAL MACROMOLECULES
         INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF
   21    SYSTEMATIC AND EVOLUTIONARY                              57          0.84       23.11
         MICROBIOLOGY
   22    CHEMOSPHERE                                              54          0.80       23.91
         JOURNAL OF PLANT BIOCHEMISTRY AND
   23                                                             52          0.77       24.67
         BIOTECHNOLOGY
   24    JOURNAL OF PLANT PHYSIOLOGY                              50          0.74       25.41
   25    JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY                          46          0.68       26.09
   26    ACTA PHYSIOLOGIAE PLANTARUM                              45          0.66       26.75
   27    PROCESS BIOCHEMISTRY                                     43          0.63       27.38
   28    FISH PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOCHEMISTRY                         43          0.63       28.02
   29    BIOCHEMISTRY                                             42          0.62       28.64
   30    AFRICAN JOURNAL OF BIOTECHNOLOGY                         42          0.62       29.26
   31    PROTEIN AND PEPTIDE LETTERS                              41          0.60       29.86
   32    INDIAN JOURNAL OF MICROBIOLOGY                           41          0.60       30.47
         BULLETIN OF ENVIRONMENTAL
   33                                                             40          0.59       31.05
         CONTAMINATION AND TOXICOLOGY
         ARCHIVES OF BIOCHEMISTRY AND
   34                                                             40          0.59       31.64
         BIOPHYSICS
   35    PHARMACEUTICAL BIOLOGY                                   39          0.57       32.22
   36    PLANT CELL REPORTS                                       38          0.56       32.78
   37    JOURNAL OF NEUROCHEMISTRY                                38          0.56       33.34
         PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL
   38    ACADEMY OF SCIENCES INDIA SECTION B-                     38          0.56       33.90
         BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

FINDINGS AND CONCLUSION
The paper explored the application of Bradford’s law of scattering in the field of environmental
sciences. It was found that a core set of 38 journals has covered about 1/3rd of the total
publications made by the environmental science researchers in selected universities from South
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International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print) ISSN:
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India. However, it could be deduced from the findings that there is a clear indication that less
number of journals publishes more number of papers. Further the number of journals alone
increases but the papers covered in these journals is found to be less. Finally, the maximum
number of journals has brought out the least number of papers as output. This phenomenon helps
the libraries and information centres acquire most relevant and highly cited journals in a
discipline within the limited budget as the cost of information resources has been increasing day-
by-day. According to Bradford’s Law of distribution based on Equation (1) the relationship
between the zones is 1:n:n2. But the relationship between the zones in the present study is
contradictory in each as 38:116:784 which does not fit to Bradford’s distribution.

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