Program Session

3 - HAMMERing out the Details: What Can an Online Bibliometrics Engine Tell Us about Research in Animal-Assisted Therapy?

Monday, May 29
1:35 PM - 1:50 PM
Room: 612

Objectives: The objectives of this study were (1) to field test HAMMER, a free web-based tool for performing statistical analyses on citation data. Is this tool accurate? Does this tool tell us what we really want to know? And, (2) to determine important aspects of the developing field of animal-assisted therapy (AAT) research, including important authors, journals, and topics.

Methods: Librarians are increasingly called upon to provide bibliometric or scientometric analyses for their institutions or disciplinary colleagues. To test a new bibliometrics tool, HAMMER, a data set of research articles citations and abstracts about AAT (the "corpus") was gathered from the Web of Science: Core Collection database. WOS: Core Collection was chosen because its records include fields that other databases do not, such as cited references from the articles, and information about funded research. Search terms included "animal assisted therapy/ies," "animal assisted psychotherapy," "equine assisted therapy," and "pet therapy." Document types were limited to research-oriented materials (articles, reviews, and proceedings papers), and were not limited by publication year or language. 455 citations constitute the corpus. The corpus was then uploaded into HAMMER to undergo its prescribed set of analyses, which include visualizations.

Results: Results included most productive authors, most cited authors, most popular publications, and most cited publications. CK Chandler was the author with the most articles but was not cited by other articles in the corpus, while SB Barker was most often cited and ranked third among top authors. While Anthrozoos was both the most popular journal and the most highly cited journal, there was a high degree of disparity between the most popular and the most often cited journals. A much higher degree of similarity was found between most popular keywords and most cited keywords. 25 "influential" articles were identified.

Conclusion: A free, automated tool like HAMMER can be useful for getting a quick snapshot of the landscape of a field of research. However, HAMMER has limitations. It can ingest records only from WOSCC, which may omit newer or rising journals, and HAMMER does not permit the user to perform any data clean-up before analyses are run. "Popular journals" and "cited journals" do not represent the actual number of articles in each category, but are computed based on an influence formula. Some desired analyses may not be available. Comparison with other bibliometric software is warranted.

Keywords: animal-assisted therapy AAT human-animal bond human-animal interactions bibliometrics scientometrics HAMMER software NAILS project



Program Session

Jane Yatcilla

Health & Life Sciences Information Specialist
Veterinary Medical Library
West Lafayette, Indiana

Jane Yatcilla, MLS, is a Life and Health Sciences Information Specialist and Associate Professor of Library Science at Purdue University. Her primary liaison responsibilities are with the College of Veterinary Medicine and the School of Health Sciences. Jane provides additional instructional support to the departments in colleges of agriculture and health and human sciences. Jane is also heavily involved with Instruction Matters: Purdue Academic Course Transformation (IMPACT), Purdue University's renowned initiative to train and support faculty who want to redesign their classes to be more student-centered and to rely on more active learning techniques. Her current research interests include exploring the use of text analytics as tool for librarian research, and mapping the development of research disciplines such as the human-animal bond and animal-assisted therapy.

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Send Email for HAMMERing out the Details: What Can an Online Bibliometrics Engine Tell Us about Research in Animal-Assisted Therapy?