• Foucault’s Toolbox: Use of Michel Foucault’s Writings in LIS Journal Literature, 1990-2016

    Scott Dewey (see profile)
    Bibliometrics, Library science, Information science, Foucault, Michel, 1926-1984
    Item Type:
    citation analysis, Foucault, LIS, Library and information science, Michel Foucault
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    Purpose – To provide a close, detailed analysis of the frequency, nature, and depth of visible use of Michel Foucault’s works by library and information science/studies (LIS) scholars. Design/methodology/approach – The study conducted extensive full-text searches in a large number of electronically available LIS journal databases to find citations of Foucault’s works, then examined each citing article to evaluate the nature and depth of use. Findings – Most uses of Foucault are brief or in passing. In-depth explorations of Foucault’s works are comparatively rare and relatively little-used by other LIS scholars. Yet the relatively brief uses of Foucault encompass a wide array of different topics spread across a wide spectrum of LIS journal literature. Research limitations/implications – The study was limited to articles from particular relatively prominent LIS journals. Results might vary if different journals or non-journal literature were studied. More sophisticated bibliometric techniques might reveal different relative performance among journals and might better test, confirm, or reject various patterns and relationships found here. Other research approaches, such as discourse analysis, social network analysis, or scholar interviews, might reveal patterns of use and influence not visible in this literature sample. Originality/value – This intensive study of both quality and quantity of citations may challenge some existing assumptions regarding citation analysis, plus illuminating Foucault scholarship. It also indicates possible problems for future application of artificial intelligence (AI) approaches to similar depth-of-use studies. Keywords – Foucault, Discourse, Power, Surveillance, Discipline, Panopticon, LIS, Library and information studies, Information science, Bibliometrics, Citation analysis Paper type – Research paper
    This is a longer version of an article that should appear in the Journal of Documentation later. I also plan to upload the master spreadsheet and various derivative spreadsheets that contain various categories of data regarding the 1,062 journal articles that formed the journal literature sample for this study. WARNING: there may be data errors in the latter part of the section, "Journal Source Citation Statistics," where it discusses overall use of sources measured by decades.
    Last Updated:
    4 years ago


    Item Name: docx foucault-longest-version-draft-4.docx
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