Questionnaires mentioned in academic research 1996-2019: Rapid increase but declining citation impact
AbstractQuestionnaires are a device to elicit human perspectives, self-reports or knowledge. This article investigates which broad academic fields use questionnaires, whether this use is increasing, and whether it generates average citation impact. This is investigated through a nonprobability sample: articles mentioning questionnaires in their titles, abstracts, or keywords. This procedure captures a minority of research using questionnaires, with substantial biases against fields using alternative terminology, such as ‘instrument’ or ‘survey’, or that rarely explicitly mention questionnaires in titles, abstract or keywords because they play a minor role. The results suggest that the proportion of journal articles using questionnaires tripled between 1996 and 2019, and this proportion increased in all 27 broad Scopus fields. Over the same period, the citation impact of the identified research declined from above average to below average. Thus, whilst academic research seems to be increasingly using questionnaires, the quality or scholarly value of research using questionnaires may be declining. These are tentative conclusions because of the unknown sampling bias for the set of questionnaire-based articles analysed.
CitationFairclough, R. and Thelwall, M. (2021) Questionnaires mentioned in academic research 1996-2019: Rapid increase but declining citation impact. Learned Publishing, 35(2) pp. 241-252. doi: 10.1002/leap.1417
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Wiley in Learned Publishing on 08/09/2021. The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/