ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Historiographic Concerns Underlying-Indian Journal of the History of Science-A Bibliometric Inference

Indian Journal of the History of Science A Bibliometric Inference Dhruv Raina This review proposes that the papers appearing in the Indian Journal of the History of Science fall into a genre of the history of science writing that strictly observes the internal-external divide. The attempt here is to identify the historiographic elements that constitute this genre of the history of science in India. Based on a bibliometric analysis, the priorities of historians of science in India publishing in the journal are identified. These priorities and the underlying historiography render certain kinds of problems amenable for research and investigation and foreclose the pursuit of others. In attempting a sociology of the discipline, a very preliminary one is proposed here, other themes and areas may be identified. In addition, it is suggested that the conservatism of historians of science, tied as they are to the apron-strings of the scientific establishment, has curtailed the growth of the discipline. While this review is partisan, it also seeks to gauge the growth of the discipline in terms of the precepts set down by the founders of the IJHS itself THE Indian Journal of the History of Science (hereafter IJHS) is a journal brought out by a scientific society and publishes papers solely in the discipline of the history of science and technology. This paper attempts a brief overview of the discipline by drawing upon the publications appearing in the IJHS. As will be discussed, the papers appearing in the IJHS fall within a certain genre of the history of science writing. At the outset this is simultaneously an exaggerated claim, as much as it is trivial for the sociologists of scientific knowledge. In any case, it may be reasonable to suggest that most of the papers published in the journal are authored by Indians undertaking research in the area, and that a significant proportion of Indians researching the history of science publish in the IJHS, Hence a simple bibliometric analysis of these publications would offer us some insight into the sociology of the discipline. A feature that both the natural and social sciences have been globally witness to is a proliferation of journals. While this is true of the domain referred to as Science Technology Society Studies (STS),1 the IJHS has till recently remained the sole academic forum for the history of science in India (several other short-lived efforts notwithstanding), However, those working on the history of sciences as it pertains to the geographical or cultural boundaries of India have, with a shift in either perspective, analytical or historiographic focus, been publishing in other journals as well. The dispersal of publications into a multitude of journals is surely not a random phenomenon, since journals are today (as was true in the past as well) associated with research communities and networks, tethered by methodological concerns, theories of interpretation, a domain of investigation, and within the domain a shared perception of the essential problematic.

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