Objective: This study examined the literature of classical (Greek and Latin) philology, as represented by the journal Transactions of the American Philological Association (TAPA), to determine changes over time for the types of materials cited, the languages used, the age of items cited, and the specificity of the citations. The overall goal was to provide data which could then be used by librarians in collection development decisions. Methods: All citations included in the 1986 and 2006 volumes of the Transactions of the American Philological Association were examined and the type of material, the language, the age, and the specificity were noted. The results of analyses of these citations were then compared to the results of a study of two earlier volumes of TAPA to determine changes over time. Results: The analyses showed that the proportion of citations to monographs continued to grow over the period of the study and accounted for almost 70% of total citations in 2006. The use of foreign language materials changed dramatically over the time of the study, declining from slightly more than half the total citations to less than a quarter. The level of specificity of citations also changed with more citations to whole books and to book chapters, rather than to specific pages, becoming more prevalent over time. Finally, the age of citations remained remarkably stable at approximately 25 years old. Conclusion: For librarians who manage collections focused on Greek and Latin literature and language, the results can give guidance for collection development and maintenance. Of special concern is the continuing purchase of monographs to support research in classical philology, but the retention of materials is also important due to the age and languages of materials used by scholars in this discipline.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Library and Information Sciences