THE USE OF CITATION COUNTING TO IDENTIFY RESEARCH TRENDS

Date01 April 1971
Published date01 April 1971
Pages287-294
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/eb026523
AuthorHARRY ROTHMAN,MICHAEL WOODHEAD
THE USE OF CITATION COUNTING TO IDENTIFY
RESEARCH TRENDS
HARRY ROTHMAN and MICHAEL WOODHEAD
University
of Manchester
The paper describes the analysis and application of manpower statistics to
identify some long-term international research trends in economic ento-
mology and pest control. Movements in research interests, particularly
towards biological
as
opposed to insecticidal methods of control, correlations
between these
sectors,
and the difficulties encountered in the construction of
a sampling frame and subsequent analysis, are described.
I. INTRODUCTION
ECONOMIC ENTOMOLOGY
is a
science of great practical importance,
embracing as it does the major problem of agricultural pest control.
While insecticides had been a traditional weapon in the war upon com-
mercially destructive insects for many decades, the appearance in the mid-
194.0s
of DDT and other powerful synthetic organic compounds
was
hailed
by many manufacturers, agriculturists, and scientists
as
promising the rapid
destruction of
pests,
and consequent improvement of crop yields, at un-
precedented rates.
Though striking initial successes were recorded, it slowly became evident
that the new compounds were not without their hazards; through the
1950s
and early
1960s
reports accumulated of environmental pollution, pest
resurgence, and the appearance of resistant strains amongst pest popula-
tions.
In the United Kingdom these problems have been the focus of a
number of government study groups, such as the Advisory Committee on
Pesticides and other Toxic Chemicals (1967). Wide public interest was
generated in the United States and elsewhere by the writings of Carson
(1963) and the report of the President's Science Advisory Committee
(1963).
As a result of this reappraisal among scientists and government agencies
of the net long-term benefits of
pesticides,
it seemed likely that research
interests might move from the further development of insecticides to con-
cern with problems raised by their use, and to a renewed examination of
insect biology and biological control in which parasites, predators, and
diseases of pests are used among other techniques to reduce their numbers.
We wished to test this hypothesis of a movement back to research studies
emphasizing the biological approach.
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