A bibliometric analysis of race-related research in LIS

Abstract

This special issue on race relations and racial inequity in Library and Information Science (LIS) is a response a recent wave of advocacy, activism, and protests. Its explicit purpose is to address the lack of research on race and inequity within our field. The purpose of this contribution to the issue is to substantiate that statement by performing a bibliometric analysis of the last 40 years of LIS scholarship to quantify the amount of attention given to race and racial inequality over that period. We find that despite an important increase in BIPOC-related research in LIS, the numbers remain quite low with approximately 2% of LIS publications containing terms related to racial inequality and BIPOC communities, and this research also tends to be less cited than the average LIS papers in the same area. We also find that this research is present in several areas of the field, although unevenly distributed across them. The trends presented in this paper may help when discussing sensitive issues regarding systematic discrimination, help create and sustain momentum towards change, and address the persistent lack of diverse perspectives and approaches across LIS scholarship and practice.

Publication
Education for Information
Philippe Mongeon
Philippe Mongeon
Assistant Professor, School of Information Management, Dalhousie University

I am an assistant professor at the School of Information Management at Dalhousie University, director of the Quantitative Science Studies Lab, and associate member of the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur la science et la technologie (CIRST).

Ratna Dhaliwal
Ratna Dhaliwal
Research Assistant