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This study of 1996 University of Auckland M.A. theses analyzed and contrasted the various formats, holdings, and especially dates of their citations. A citation age model* was tested against the data and confirmed.
There was little discernible difference between the experimentally derived adoption rates of Humanities and Social Sciences subjects (i.e., the rates at which new references are embraced). There was a marked difference between the two calculated disadoption rates (i.e., the rates at which old references become obsolete). This Humanities / Social Science dichotomy has direct impact on the minimum age of printed material sent to off-site storage.
citation age; citation analysis; citation study; citations; half-life; Humanities; obsolescence; off-site storage; rate; reference study; Social Sciences.
* George A. Barnett, Edward L. Fink, and Mary Beth Debus. "A Mathematical Model of Academic Citation Age." Communication Research 16, no. 4 (Aug. 1989): 510-531.