Journal of Scientometric Research, 2023, 12, 2, 275-284.
Published: September 2023
Type: Research Article
Brady Lund1, Amrollah Shamsi2,*, Arezoo Ghamgosar3, Narayanaswamy Vasantha Raju4, Hossein Dehdarirad5, Mohammad Javad Mansourzadeh6
1Department of Information Science, University of North Texas, Texas, USA.
2Department of Medical Library and Information Sciences, Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, Bushehr, IRAN.
3Medical Biotechnology Research Center, School of Paramedical Sciences, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, IRAN.
4Government First Grade College, Talakadu, Karnataka, INDIA.
5School of Allied Medical Sciences, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IRAN.
6Osteoporosis Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinical Sciences Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IRAN.
Independent Researchers (IRs), namely unaffiliated or voluntary researchers, are a small yet important and distinct population of contributors to scholarly discourse. Due to their small number, IRs rarely receive attention in debates regarding scholarly publishing but the distinctiveness of the unaffiliated researchers warrants further examination. Documents were extracted from the Web of Science. Bibliometric parameters were as follows: main scientometric characteristics, citations analysis, publishing trends, geographical distributions, most productive countries, co-authorship network of countries, top funding sources, research areas, keyword co-occurrence network, top cited publications, top productive journals and gender of IRs. 3357 documents were retrieved that were individually or collaboratively authored by 3784 IRs from 1980-2021. There were 589 single-authored documents. More than 70% of documents were research articles, followed by meeting abstracts (8.66%). All documents received 52279 citations, with 19.45 average citations per document. Private Practice was the most affiliation format of IRs. Publications started to grow since 2000, with almost 40% of them published from 2017-2021. The United States published almost half of all IRs-related publications. Most of the research funding was primarily contributed by government agencies, with the United States being a major player in this regard. Also, many IRs are active in medical disciplines research, and are highly collaborative, often with multiple Co-authors. 33.5% of IRs authors were women and 66.5% were men. This understanding of IRs illustrates the importance of this group and encourages further research and support for this population of science contributors.
Keywords: Independent Researcher, Independent Scholar, Unaffiliated Researchers, Scholarly Publishing, Scientific Collaboration, Bibliometric.