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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Content analysis of the Journal of Reading, 1957-1976, with annotated bibliography, keyword in context (KWIC) and author indexes Dartnell, Donna Jean


The purpose of this study was to examine the record of a practitioner oriented professional journal in the field of secondary reading (the Journal of Reading) and to organize its contents for maximum dissemination and analysis. Specifically, the major goals included (1) providing retrospective access to articles published within the Journal of Reading from its inception in October 1957 to May 1976 by means of an annotated bibliography organized within an empirically developed classification scheme, a title-based enriched Keyword in Context (KWIC) index, and an author index; and (2) determining characteristics of the total 19 year record of the Journal of Reading through a content analysis which tabulated the major substantive groupings of the published articles, trends and shifts in topical emphases, authorship patterns, academic affiliation of authors, and a citation analysis based on the number of citations per article, type of publication cited, age of cited material, and an analysis of the most recently cited materials (immediacy effect). To provide a conceptual framework and methodology, a review of the literature was undertaken which examined (1) the emergence of the journal as a communication tool; (2) document surrogation and organizational techniques (indexing and classification, abstracting and annotating); and (3) content and citation analysis. Informative annotations were written for all articles and the 984 articles were placed in an empirically organized, validated classifactory system consisting of 13 major and 41 sub-categories. The enriched KWIC index provides an average of approximately four additional entry points for each article based on titles and enriched terms. Content analysis and citation data were organized to reflect over-all trends in categories and sub-categories and comparative trends across the three major editorial eras of the Journal of Heading. Analysis of the 13 major categories revealed (a) the greatest over-all subject interest to be in the areas of Heading Programs and Beading Skills (41% of articles) followed by: (b) Heading Personnel (10.2%), materials (10,0%); (c) Reviews and Bibliographies (7.6%), Correlates of Reading (7.6%), Instructional Methods and Activities (7.5%), and (d) General, Content Areas, Measurement and Evaluation, Atypical Learners, Diagnosis and Remediation, and English as a Second Language (1.0% - 5.9% each). While the 13 broad categories remained relatively stable over time, shifts did occur within their sub-categories. Approximately 75% of the articles published were single- authored and 67.5% of the total number of authors were affiliated with a college or university. Although numerous articles contained no citations, reference citation has steadily increased over the 19 years with an increase in book citation over time and a decrease in journal article citation. The use of archival material decreased across the three time periods as did the median age for all types of publications. Also, for all types of publications there was an increase in the percentages of recently cited materials. The study revealed the growth of the journal, both in the number of issues per volume (from 4 to 8) and articles per volume (from 34 in Volume 1, Number 1 to 82 in Volume 19, Number 8), and supported the validity of an empirically developed classification scheme which reflects the state of secondary reading as it actually is rather than how one thinks it ought to be and the efficacy of the enriched KWIC index approach in providing access to retrospective literature collections. The content analysis stressed the relative stability in the 13 major categories over the 19 years, shifts within categories due to editorial policy changes, shifts within subcategories, and the predominance of single authored articles written by those affiliated with a college or university. Some speculation as to the reasons for these results is provided- The citation analysis supported the idea of secondary reading as a maturing discipline within the field of reading and underscored the more general communication stance of a practitioner as compared to a research oriented journal. Recommendations included a plea for informative titling, more articles from school based personnel, and broadening citations to include serial references to insure greater interaction with the "cutting edge" literature in the field-Suggestions for further research included an extension of the content analysis to examine such variables as research typology, design characteristics, or domain of interest; a comparison of the results of this study with similar studies, especially in education; and an annual updating of the annotated bibliography and keyword and author indexes.

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