The current study is undertaken to report a statistic and study the growth of doctoral research in India under the domains of “library management” in the last 50 years from 1971 to 2020. Two central repositories of India, i.e. INFLIBNET “Shodhganga” and INFLIBNET “INDCAT” services, were used to curate data for the PhD theses for the studied period. A hypothesis was formulated and statistically proved that research on library management has witnessed significant growth during the period. A total of 304 theses were produced by 89 universities during the period that dealt with the subject of library management, out of which Gauhati University produced the highest (4.23% of the total). Northeastern and Southern India universities have a higher thesis productivity average per institution than the national average during the studied period. A positive correlation was found between the age of the Library and Information Science (LIS) department with thesis productivity. Significantly, several non-LIS departments have produced PhDs in the areas of library management during the studied period. Decade-wise growth study revealed that after the year 2000, Financial Planning, Human resource management, Total Quality Management, and Management of Digital resources are some prominent micro-level areas of the doctoral theses of Indian universities in the last 50 years.
In India, Library and Information Science (LIS) education has been around for a century (Kumar & Sharma, 2010). It has progressed from a small beginning as short-term training courses to a country-wide network of universities, colleges, research organizations, professional associations, and other institutions that offer Certificates, Diplomas, Postgraduate Diploma, Bachelor’s degrees, Master’s degrees, MPhil, PhD, and even D.Litt through regular and distance modes (Joshi, 2010).
As predicted by Asundi and Karisiddappa (2007), India would rank among the top five countries in terms of output and contribution to the development of thought content among the countries that offer LIS education. This prediction is yet to be validated through proper stats but qualitatively LIS education in India has been a front-runner, particularly among developing countries creating a fair educational environment. According to Eisenberg, Trombly, and Ruth (1988), a strong combination of traditional domains and IT innovations is observed in India, as indicated by PhD theses produced by the LIS departments of Indian universities. The foundation of professional research in LIS in the world began in the twentieth century in 1920 at the LIS school of the University of Chicago (Satija, 2010). In India the first PhD in LIS was produced under the guideship of S. R. Ranganathan (Kumar & Sharma, 2010). There have been some empirical studies (Chandrashekara & Ramesh, 2009; Kumar, 1987; Sharma, 1997) as reported by Satija (2010) regarding the growth, status, and topics of PhD dissertations from Indian universities. Bibliometrics studies are top in those dissertations while the research in fundamental areas of LIS practices was the least reported topic.
2 Review of Literature
Management is an important issue in the day-to-day activities of libraries and information centres (LICs). LICs have to look for issues in resource management that include both human and library collection, issues relating to financial management from budgeting to financial reporting, and issues relating to IT and copyright management. Only LIS professionals can understand the importance of various managerial issues relating to the functioning of modern LICs regardless of their size and collection. Most of the theories on library management are inspired by the general management schools of thought viz. classical, behavioural, quantitative, system, and contingency. Research in these areas is important to highlight the practicality and problem-solving issues in managerial practices. Wilkinson (1983) opined that if librarianship aspires to become a profession, it should depend upon research to develop its knowledge base and its theoretical framework. Evaluation of a PhD thesis using theories of scientometrics is a prominent domain of LIS research. Such studies help to understand multifaceted research problems like core journal readership of a particular institution (Simte & Phuritsabam, 2021), citation half-life of journals from a particular discipline (Gayan & Singh, 2019), reference accuracy of citations (Gupta, 2020), and growth of research in a particular topic (Borgohain, Zakaria, & Verma, 2022).
Modern LICs have to take problem-solving objective managerial decisions benefiting both the library and the parent institutions. The possible gap areas in LIC management include the areas of technology use and service implementation, staff mobility and managerial attitudes, and flexibility to innovate and change (Brockman, 1997). The issues of applicability of operations research principles in effective communication and solution interpretation were identified by Rowley and Rowley (1981). Mahapatra (1980) reported on the wonderful possibilities of the system approach of scientific management in Library administration and operations. Budget and budgetary control, cost accounting and cost control are important parts of any industrial administration and in library administration, this has been often overlooked because most libraries draw their finance from public funds (Ranganathan, 1967). Even though the research dynamics in LIS at the doctoral level in India has made significant contributions in various facets of classification, cataloguing, document usage and reference service, documentation, library organization, etc. (Neelameghan, 1967), issues like library finance, cost–benefit analysis of library services, marketing of library products and services, networking, resource sharing, and total quality management should not be left out from the list of research priority (Lahiri, 1999). Moreover, modern LIC management involves activities of human resource management like job analysis, wage structure, staff pattern, and technological competencies.
Dissertation growth studies are important for subject areas like LIS where journal and article counts are less compared to established areas like applied sciences (Andersen & Hammarfelt, 2011). Therefore, in recent times there have been several studies concentrated on LIS research at PhD level. Studies show greater growth of LIS research in India after 2000 onwards (Maity & Hatua, 2015; Mundhial, Sahoo, Dash, & Mohanty, 2020; Pandita & Singh, 2017). Maity and Hatua (2015) reported on the strong research base of library management in the southern universities of India. The study also reported on the lack of research space in foundational areas of LIS, and a shift towards more tech-savvy areas is observed in recent times. Similar findings were also reported by Mundhial et al. (2020), as they found areas like Information seeking behaviours, ICT application in libraries, and Management of LICs as common topics of research at the doctoral level and grey areas of LIS like classification, preservation, conservation, intellectual property rights as least focussed areas. Pandita and Singh (2017) reported that even though LIS research in its comparison has seen growth between 2010 and 2014 compared to other social sciences, LIS theses were just 3.04% in that period, urging the necessity of LIS research for the functional growth of the subject. The study also reported the stronger growth of doctoral theses from LIS departments of the Indian states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra as being the most productive. There have been other such studies (Gupta & Bharadwaj, 2010; Singh & Babbar, 2014) that tried to reflect the gap areas of research at the doctoral level on the subject of LIS in India. Such studies are essential for the democratic growth of a subject field as research at the doctoral level is thought to be foundational for any subject field.
The current study aims to study the research dynamics that have been conducted in Indian Universities at the PhD level whose core area is library management. The study has been reported here in several sections viz. Sections 1 and 2 underline the status of doctoral research and the importance of library management studies; Section 3 describes the objectives of the study; Section 5 introduces the methodology; Section 7 reports the data analysis; Section 8 contains the major findings; and Section 9 reports the study conclusion.
3 Objectives of the Study
The study has been designed to address the following objectives:
To report statistics of doctoral research in the area of “library management” in India from 1971 to 2020.
To find out whether universities emphasize “library management” as a theme of doctoral research in India and to find if there is any correlation between PhD productivity with the age of the universities.
To study the geographic distribution of universities producing doctoral research in the area of “library management” and make a comparison of their productivity.
To find out the non-LIS departments doing research in the area of “library management” if there is any.
To identify the various sub-themes of “library management” explored in doctoral research in India.
4 Hypothesis of the Study
The following hypotheses were formulated to have more statistical conclusions to the set objectives,
H0: “Library management” is a neglected area of research at the doctoral level and hasn’t grown in India during the studied period.
H1: Research in the area of “library management” at the doctoral level is on growth during the studied period.
Two central repositories of India viz. the INFLIBNET Shodhganga and the INFLIBNET INDCAT service were used as central data sources for the study. INFLIBNET Shodhganga (https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/) is a repository of PhD thesis awarded by Indian universities. Indian universities must submit an e-copy of the PhD thesis for the degrees awarded by them. While INFLIBNET INDCAT (https://indcat.inflibnet.ac.in/) is a union catalogue of Indian universities like the OCLC WorldCat service. So in combination, these two repositories work as central and authentic data sources for PhD theses at Indian universities. There have been studies using these repositories as authentic data sources. Vijayan (2020) studied the research in Progress in India using Shodhgangotri. Mir and Sevukan (2021) explored LIS thesis available in Shodhganga and studied their citedness.
For searching the databases, key terms like “library Management,” “library administration,” “management of libraries,” “library planning,” “human resource,” “personnel training,” “Library and information science,” “management,” and “library science” were chosen and individual search was carried out in the databases. The results obtained were then combined, duplicate records were filtered, and the theses which are associated with the areas of library management were taken into consideration for conducting the study. A total of 304 such thesis details were collected whose primary theme was associated with the area of library management. From this test dataset details of the theses on parameters like the Year, Title, University, and Assigned keywords were extracted in MS Excel. The period considered for the study is from 1971 to 2020. Later further analyses of the data were carried out to fulfil the objectives of the study.
6 Scope and Limitation of the Study
The study is limited to the bibliographic data available on PhD theses on library management which are available at Shodhganga or have their catalogue information available at the INDCAT service. The researchers did not have physical access to the theses whose copies were not available in Shodhganga. The analysis was carried out based on bibliographic and abstract information available for the theses on the selected sites.
7 Data Analysis and Interpretation
7.1 Year-wise Growth of Theses
Bibliographic details of 304 doctoral theses produced between 1971 and 2020 were collected. Figure 1 reports the year-wise productivity and cumulative growth of PhD theses from 1971 to 2020 in a dual-axis graph. It is observed that the first thesis appeared in 1972 at Savitribai Phule University, Pune. There has been a high growth of PhD theses in the area of “library management” from 2010 onwards during the studied period, 2011 being the most productive one with 19 theses, followed by 2012 and 2013 with 18 and 19 theses, respectively.
7.2 Decade-wise Growth of Theses
Table 1 represents the decadal growth of theses in the area of “library management.” In the five decades from 1971 to 2020, the highest productive decade being 2011–2020 producing 39.8% of all the theses. Out of the total theses, 67.1% are produced after 2001. Even though this shows the growth of the importance of “library management” as a topic of research, some sociological issues like starting of new LIS departments in various universities across India and new PhD opportunities in the already existing departments after 2001 might be some other factors influencing this growth.
|Year period||No. of theses||Percentage|
7.3 Testing of Hypothesis
A one-sample t-test was run to determine whether thesis output on the selected study area in the studied period was different from normal, defined as an average output of 4.0. The specific value of a minimum of four theses per year has been chosen as a benchmark to compare the mean of the t-test as Mundhial et al. (2020) reported in their study the average thesis growth per year across various subdomains of LIS to be 4. The mean output during the studied period was lower by 2.04 basis points than the normal value of 4.0, at a 95% confidence interval of difference 0.54–3.54 (lower to upper) with a p-value of 0.009.
For running a t-test, the required elements are viz. sample mean of the data, a hypothesized mean against which the study data are compared, standard deviation, and total number of observations.
The sample mean
The hypothesized population mean µ is set for the study = 4.
Standard deviation S = .
Cumulative distributive function for the resultant t value from test statistics for the study has been worked out based on the following conditions:
Total number of observations (N) for the study N = 50.
Degrees of freedom (n) for one sample t-test n = 49.
|N||Mean||Std. deviation||Std. error mean|
|No of theses per year||50||6.0400||5.26428||0.74448|
|Test value = 4|
|t||df||Sig. (2-tailed)||Mean difference||95% confidence interval of the difference|
|No of theses per year||2.740||49||0.009||2.04000||0.5439||3.5361|
There was a statistically significant difference in mean values (p < 0.05). Therefore, the null hypothesis can be rejected, and this leads to accepting the alternative hypothesis. It can be said that research in the area of library management at the doctoral level has significantly grown during the studied period.
7.4 Top Universities Producing the Highest Number of PhDs in the Area of Library Management
The collected data of 304 theses were produced by 89 universities in India. Interesting is that the issue of “library management” themed research was not only limited to LIS departments only but also such research was conducted in other departments also (more on this is reported in Section 7.7). In this study, an attempt has been made to map the most productive universities of the last 50 years from 1971 to 2020, which has been emphasizing more on the area of “library management” as a topic of research at the doctoral level.
Table 4 reports the top five ranked universities that have produced “library management” themed doctoral research in the last 50 years (1971–2020). A total of 15 universities are featured in the top five ranks, which produced almost 47.04% of total theses, proving them to be the core universities doing research in the selected field. Gauhati University in Assam is ranked at the top producing 13 (4.28% of the total) doctoral theses during the studied period. Interestingly, the LIS departments of the universities featured in the top five ranks are one of the oldest ones in the country, inclining a conclusion that older LIS departments are giving much emphasis on one of the important theoretical aspects of LIS curricula, i.e. “library management.”
|Sl. No.||Rank||Name of University||No. of theses||Percentage|
|3||3||University of Delhi||10||3.29|
|4||3||University of Calicut||10||3.29|
|5||3||Sri Venkateswara University||10||3.29|
|6||3||Sri Krishnadevaraya University||10||3.29|
|7||3||Savitribai Phule Pune University||10||3.29|
|11||4||Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University||9||2.96|
|13||5||Manonmaniam Sundaranar University||8||2.63|
|15||5||Dr. Harisingh Gour Vishwavidyalaya||8||2.63|
7.5 Correlation of PhD Productivity with the Age of the University
Table 4 shows that around 47% of the total thesis output of the last 50 years in the area of library management is distributed among 15 universities, which are some of the oldest LIS departments in India. To find out the relationship between research productivity in the selected study area with the age of the LIS departments in the universities, a linear correlation study between the number of theses and the age of the LIS departments was done. The age was determined based on 2020 as the current year. The detailed findings are reported in Figure 2. The scattered points were sparsely distributed from the linear correlation line yielding a resultant R 2 value of 0.118, which proves a small positive association of the research productivity at the PhD level in the area of library management with the age of the LIS departments in the universities.
7.6 Analysis of Universities in Geographic Zone Wise
Further analysis of the 89 universities that featured in the 304 theses produced during the study period was done based on their geographic location and the universities were distributed to five zones of India, i.e. Northern, Southern, Central, Western, and Northeastern zone as per the zonal map of India available at https://www.mapsofindia.com/zonal/. A detailed report of the analysis is presented in a multi-axis graph in Figure 3. It is observed that the highest number of institutions (total 24) featured from the southern zone with a total of 112 theses that produced the maximum number of PhDs in the area of “library management” and the least being the Northeastern zone with only 6 institutes featuring during the studied period. Interestingly, when comparing the average number of theses produced per institute, the Northeastern average stands equal with the Southern zone average, i.e. 4.67 theses per institution, enunciating the high productivity of the Northeastern universities in the selected area of study. The Northeastern and Southern zone average productivity of theses per institute also stands above the national average of 3.43, helping to infer the greater interest of research of the universities of these zones in the area of library management.
7.7 Non-LIS Departments Producing a Thesis in the Areas of Library Management
Management is a diverse area of research. A library at a glance is nothing but a large organization within an academic or research institution. So, the issue of library management, the financial part, and the human aspect have attracted people from diverse backgrounds to research it. During the studied period the issue of library management even though has been discussed thoroughly by various LIS schools of universities, and from time to time in the last 50 years, many aspects of the issue have been discussed as a research problem by other non-LIS departments also. Table 5 represents those non-LIS departments that have produced PhDs in the sub-areas of library management. The first thesis from a non-LIS department was produced at Kerala University in 1983 from their Department of Education whose main area of focus was the utilization of libraries at Higher education institutions of Kerala, the second one came from IIT, Delhi in the year 1987 and this worked on the area of the organizational structure of libraries. The latest one had been produced by the Department of Management Studies of Dibrugarh University Assam in 2019 which worked on the area of human resource management of libraries at the state and central universities. The older ones prior to 2000 can be related to be done by some LIS background people as PhD programs were not available in many LIS departments at that time. But the recent ones after 2000 onwards are done by non-LIS background people having a sole interest in the area of management aspect opening the door for cross-disciplinary research in this domain.
|Sl No||Name of the non-LIS department||University name||Thesis title||Year of PhD|
|1||Department of Education||University of Kerala||A Critical Study of the Organization and Utilization of Libraries in Higher Educational Institutions in Kerala||1983|
|2||Department of Humanities and Social Sciences||Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi||Factors related to organizational effectiveness: a study based on special and academic libraries||1987|
|3||School of Social Sciences||Jawaharlal Nehru University||Professionals in organizations: a study of trained librarians in university, public and special libraries||1988|
|4||Department of Political Science||Gauhati University||Library administration in Assam||1989|
|5||Department of Political Science & Public Administration||Sri Krishnadevaraya University||Organization and working of public libraries in Anantapur district||1989|
|6||Department of Economics||Sri Krishnadevaraya University||Finances of public libraries in the Anantapur district||1990|
|7||Department of Management Science||Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University||Management of college libraries with special reference to Aurangabad district||1994|
|8||Department of Commerce||University of Rajasthan||Job satisfaction among library employees||1996|
|9||Department of Psychology||Banaras Hindu University||Study of occupational role stress, locus of control, and mental health among library personnel||1997|
|10||Department of Management||Maharshi Dayanand University||Leadership styles and strategies for success A study of university libraries in the state of Haryana||1999|
|11||Department of Education||Sambalpur University||A study of the organization and utilization of libraries in training colleges of Teacher Education CTEs and Institutes of Advanced Studies in Education IASEs in Orissa||1999|
|12||Department of Sociology||V. B. S. Purvanchal University||Library professionals A sociological study of medical libraries located in New Delhi||2003|
|13||Department of Economics||Osmania University||The finances of Osmania university with special reference to library finances||2006|
|14||Department of Political Science & Public Administration||Sri Venkateswara University||A study of library administration in Andhra Pradesh with special reference to the Cuddapah District||2010|
|15||Faculty of Science and humanities||Anna University||Management of digital libraries in technical educational institutes an evaluative study of selected engineering and management colleges in Karnataka||2011|
|16||Department of Public Administration||Andhra University||Administration of the district central libraries in Andhra Pradesh: a study of district central libraries at Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, and Srikakulam||2012|
|17||Department of Business Management||Guru Jambheshwar University of Science & Technology||Management of service quality in libraries and information centres||2012|
|18||Department of Psychology||University of Calcutta||An ergonomic evaluation of library work-station design and analysis of work-stress of library staff of different Indian academic institutions||2012|
|19||Department of Business Administration||Utkal University||Management of human resource development in academic libraries A comparative study of Universities technical and Management institutions in Orissa||2013|
|20||Department of Education||Assam University||A Study of the effects of Manpower training and job satisfaction of the library professionals in North East India||2014|
|21||School of humanities and social sciences||Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University||Study of migration of library management systems _LMS_ in western regional Indian libraries||2015|
|22||Faculty of Science and humanities||Anna University||Job satisfaction among the library professionals in higher educational institutions in Coimbatore district a study||2017|
|23||Department of Education||Gauhati University||Quality management of college libraries and its role in higher education institutions of upper Assam||2017|
|24||Centre of Management Studies||Dibrugarh University||A Comparative Study of the Human Resource Management and Development Practices of the State and Central University Libraries of Assam||2019|
7.8 Subject Analysis of Theses Under the “Library Management” Theme
“Library management” is a broad topic and various sub-themes under it range from issues of personnel management, human resource management, financial management, total quality management, collection management, and many others. For this particular research work, the 304 theses were given a detailed reading of their abstract, title, and objectives. From there the thesis was categorized to fit 11 different broad areas under “library management” as identified in Table 6. The decade-wise trend of the selected core areas of research was also studied. Personnel management and Human resource management are the popular micro areas of research in the theses in the last 50 years. Prior to the year 2000, Library Administration, Library Planning, Financial Management, and Personnel Management were some topics of the theses, but after 2000, the number of theses on these topics has grown to a large extent. This can be associated with the practical problems LIS professionals face in modern LICs. Moreover, some emerging areas under “library management” like Total quality management, Library architecture, and Planning are finding popularity in recent times. The issues of Digital Library and digital resource management and the modern aspect of knowledge management are part of some “library management” themed doctoral dissertations. Figure 4 represents a detailed report of growth in each thematic area of research in the five decades that were studied.
|Sl. No||Subject||1971–1980||1981–1990||1991–2000||2001–2010||2011–2020||No. of theses||Percentage|
|3||Human resource management||1||1||13||13||18||46||15.23|
|5||Total quality management||0||0||0||9||19||28||9.27|
|10||Digital library management||0||0||0||0||1||1||0.33|
8 Major Findings of the Study
The study reports the following major findings:
In the last 50 years, 304 PhD has been awarded in the area of library management. The first thesis in the area of library management in India has been produced at Savitribai Phule University, Pune in 1972.
There has been a high growth of PhD in the selected subject area from 2010 onwards. Around 61% of the total theses have been produced after 2001, and out of that 38% have been produced after 2010. This shows that in recent times this area has got much importance as a research problem at the PhD level.
The 15 universities that have produced the most PhD in the selected study area are presented in Table 4. Library management has been a core research area of these top 15 universities, as these have shared almost 47.04% of all theses being produced during the studied 50 years. Gauhati University is at the top producing total of 13 theses (4.27%) in the selected area in the studied period.
Testing of hypothesis revealed that “library management” is a trendy topic of research in the last 50 years and is growing as a research subject.
A linear co-relation study of PhD thesis productivity in the selected study area with the age of universities was done, and the results reflected that scattered points were sparsely distributed from the linear correlation line yielding a resultant R 2 value of 0.118, proving a positive association of the number of research productivity at the PhD level in the area of library management with the age of the LIS departments in the universities.
Study of the geographic distribution of universities for their productivity of doctoral research in the selected area revealed that Universities in the Southern Zone and Northeastern zones have been more productive with an average thesis of 4.67 per institute, which is well above the national average of 3.42. Total 24 universities from the southern zone with 114 thesis shred among them featured in the list of total 89 institutions in the studied period of last 50 years, helping to conclude the vast presence of LIS education in that part of India, while a high productivity average with just 6 institutions from Northeastern zone helps to conclude the fast growth of impactful LIS research from Northeast India.
Management is a multifunctional area and interest in other subject disciplines in the area of library management is reflected in doctoral-level research over the studied period of 50 years. Out of 304 theses, 24 theses were such which were from non-LIS departments. Detailed findings are reported in Table 5.
Micro-level topic trend analysis has yielded findings that human resource management, financial management, and personnel management have been classical areas of research under library management across time, while in recent times areas like total quality management, library architecture, and library planning are gaining importance. Detailed findings are reported in Table 6.
Research at the doctoral level goes through various stages of review that make its findings foundational in various subject domains. The theme of “library management” is an applied and practical field in LIS practices and research in this area is a necessity for the growth of the profession. This current study emphasized doctoral research in this very important aspect of the profession in the last 50 years in India. There has been a subsequent rise in research on “library management” in the subsequent decades of the studied 50 years’ period starting from 1971. The result from the one-sample t-test proved that research in the selected area has significantly grown during the last 50 years. A total of 89 Universities across India have conducted research on the “library management” theme till 2020. Universities in the Southern and Northeastern zones have higher productivity averages than the national average during the studied period. A positive correlation was found between the age of LIS departments with their thesis productivity rate in the area of library management. Moreover, there are 24 such theses out of 304 during the studied period, which were produced by non-LIS departments, helping to bring out the interdisciplinary prospect of research in the domain. Later, the theses were clubbed into 11 different micro-level areas under library management, and it was found that modern issues of the professions like personnel management, human resource management, library organization, and total quality management are gaining more importance in recent decades. The study also reports on the top five institutes of the last 50 years, which have produced maximum PhD in the selected area.
There can be multiple factors inside and outside academia for the rise of doctoral research in “library management,” but institutional productivity study reveals that older LIS schools are leading in this regard. It is expected that in the subsequent decades, there will be considerable growth in the research theme of “library management” in all universities across India. Also, the participation of non-LIS departments in research at the doctoral level is a good sign for future cross-domain research in this area. Finally, with the increasing number of institutions, it is also expected that LIS doctoral research would increase in the future.
Funding information: Part of this research is being funded by Cotton University In-house research project scheme no CU/Dean/R&D/2019/05/1995.
Conflict of interest: The authors state no conflict of interest.
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