Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Information Sciences

Major Professor

Elizabeth S. Aversa

Committee Members

Pat L. Fisher, Doug Raber


The goal of this study is to develop a set of empirically and theoretically sound citation-based bibliometric indicators of scientific research performance and apply them in an exploratory comparative study of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville's Nutrition Department with three of its peer programs at the University of Florida, the University of Georgia, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University over a five-year period (1992-1996). A search of the bibliometric literature revealed much criticism of the use of citation analysis, little consensus about the solutions, and even less empirical data applicable to departmental level studies. Therefore for the purpose of this study, self- citations were not excluded from the data, equal publication credit was given for multi- authored papers, and the two-year citation window was used in the calculation of bibliometric indicators and impact measures. The overall conceptual approach used was a limited version of Martin and Irvine's (1981, 1983) methodology of multiple converging indicators of scientific performance, using only bibliometric indicators, drawing on the citation data from the Institute for Scientific Information's Science Citation Index-Expanded, and the Journal Citation ReportsA set of eight empirically sound and theoretically justifiable indicators was developed and applied in this study. Of the four peer Nutrition programs evaluated, the UTK Nutrition Department ranked second in both the overall rankings and in the Actual Impact Group of indicators, and ranked third in the Publication Output and Benchmark Groups of indicators.

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