Forty years ago, when I was a 14 year-old school boy, reading the Communist Manifesto for the first time and writing dire love poems to girls who I hope have destroyed them, Edward Dudley and others convinced the Library Associate of the need to support a research journal for the library profession. The anniversary issue arrived the other day. I intend no slight to the other articles in an excellent issue, but I want to concentrate on three pieces from it.
First of all, Edward's own editorial, a historical perspective on the development of the journal, and some ideas on the development of electronic methods of communication in the profession. He traces the frequent changes in ownership of the journal, from the LA to Bowker-Saur, to CSA, to its present publishers, SAGE. JOLIS's sister title. Journal of Information Science, followed a similar route, though starting route with Elsevier. It is well worth reading, not least for some characteristically wry Dudelyisms, such as his observation on the ratio between vocal and silent participants in discussions both electronic and at professional meetings. He concludes by suggesting that we could apply to information Marx's analysis of the exchange value of commodities as the amount of socially necessary labour-time required for their production, and suggesting that our professional communication is at one of those points in historical development where quantitative change becomes qualitative change
Jonathan Furner of UCLA presents the first part of what JOLIS's editor, Anne Goulding, describes as a forensic bibliometric analysis of the corpus of forty years of publication. He covers his subject exhaustively, drawing out,, for example, the top ten authors through the journal's history and the top ten institutional affiliations, the latter no mean task considering the many institutional changes education in librarianship has gone through in the period. To take the library school which Edward Dudley ran, and which I attended, it has been recorded by Web of Science as POLYTECH N LONDON, UNIV N LONDON, LONDON METROPOLITAN UNIV, NORTHWESTERN POLYTECH, NORTHWESTERN POLYTECH SCH LIBRARIANSHIP and POLYTECH U LONDON.
Finally, Bob Usherwood revisits that influential text, Richard Hoggart's the Uses of Literacy, and defends Hoggart against some of the crasser misreadings of his work by members of the profession, as 'elitist' or 'pro-censorship'. The only weakness in Hoggart's argument was his unscientific analysis of class.
I must declare an interest: I am an editorial board member, but I think every member of the profession would gain from reading these articles. There's free access online for CILIP members, or find a library that stocks it, or subscribe yourself or persuade your institution to subscribe.
Forty years of the Journal of Librarianship and Information Science: A quantitative analysis, Part I
Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, Vol. 41, No. 3, 149-172 (2009)