KNOWLEDGE DISSEMINATION IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION: MEASURING ACADEMIC SCHOLARSHIP WITH SOCIAL NETWORK ANALYSES OF SCHOLARLY JOURNAL CITATIONS IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND RELATED FIELDS Public

ABSTRACT In this research, I investigate the intellectual environment of public administration with analyses of scholarly journal publishing citation metrics. The two purposes of this dissertation are to investigate whether public administration is an isolated and insular field, particularly in relation to political science and business management, and to elicit the citation network structure of public administration journals. To investigate whether public administration is an isolated field and to elicit the citation networks of the journals, I used social network analysis on the journal citations in the Web of Science in three years: 2005, 2010, and 2015. In an earlier study on journal citations in public administration, Wright (2011) found that research in public administration is largely isolated from the three disciplines that were believed to be its foundations: law, management, and political science. In this study, I sought to verify this finding and examine the explanations for the levels of isolation and insularity of public administration I particularly examined the categorical relations between the citations and the characteristics of the ego networks of the public administration journals. Using ego network analyses with the software UCINET, I examined the relative isolation and insularity of the top scholarly journals of public administration, in comparison to the top journals of two related fields: political science and business management. I calculated the citing and cited references based on a categorical classification of citations. I measured the changes in the ego networks of citations over time using the Index of Qualitative Variation. The results of my study confirm Wright’s finding that public administration is isolated, but my results provide more detail and nuance to this conclusion. I also examined the network structure of public administration journals to determine the relative prestige of the journals, using whole-network analyses. In my examination I tested whether the citation networks have the characteristics of the small world model and/or a scale-free network. In my analyses, I used multiple measures for the whole networks, including degree centrality, Bonacich centrality, core periphery, clique analyses, and the Small World Index. The results of the centrality and core-periphery analyses yield a picture of a centralized network among public administration journals. The clique analyses show that there are groups among public administration journals and that these groups became more discernable over time. The results of the clustering coefficient analyses and the Small World Index analyses suggest that there is a small-world structure among the citations in public administration journals. Two journals, Public Administration Review and the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, are at the core of the citation networks in public administration. Although my analyses do not directly confirm the existence of a scale-free network, or a Power Law distribution, among the citations in public administration, I speculate based on my whole network analyses that there is “preferential attachment” to the central journals of the public administration networks in the years I analyzed.

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