n South African Journal of Higher Education - Citation analysis of theses and dissertations submitted at the Tshwane University of Technology : 2004-2006

Volume 22, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



What types of information sources do masters and doctoral (M and D) students at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) use most, how do the patterns of use differ across subject disciplines and faculties, and to what extent does the Library and Information Services (LIS) keep or provide access to the journals that are mostly used by M and D students? To answer these questions the researcher applied citation analysis as a research tool to analyse the reference lists of 316 theses and dissertations submitted by M and D students and accepted by TUT from 2004 to 2006. Some of the findings were that M and D students are far greater users of paper-based information than of electronic information sources. Over time there was a gradual increase in Web citations but not as much as one would have expected. Web citations therefore had no real impact on the composition of reference lists. M and D students in the social sciences and humanities clearly use books most. They also use journals far less than students in the fields of science, engineering and technology. Across all faculties and disciplines the majority of journals were only cited once over a period of three years. However, a small percentage of journals were highly cited and / or frequently cited. This confirms the outcome of other citation studies : A small number of journals generate the majority of journals cited. The findings will assist the LIS to make informed decisions regarding which information resources to make available to M and D students and thus enabling TUT libraries to make the transition to support more advanced research.

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