Document Type


Publication Date

January 2005


Bibliometrics, Data mining, Cave and karst science, Karst Information Portal


The field of cave and karst science is served by a literature that is dispersed across far-flung topical journals, government publications, and club newsletters. As part of an inter-institutional project to globalize karst information (KIP, the Karst Information Portal), the USF Library undertook a structured battery of literature searches to map the domain of karst literature. The study used 4,300 individual searches and four literature databases: GeoRef, BIOSIS, Anthropology Plus, and GPO Access. The searches were based on a list of 632 terms including 321 karst-related keywords culled from three leading encyclopedias and glossaries of cave and karst science. An examination of yearly changes in publication rate indicates that for the last 45 years, the number of cave and karst publications has increased steadily, as has the number of journals in which they appear. In particular, the past ten years cover a period of rapid growth where karst-specific journals achieved peer-review status, and individual journals accepted more cave and karst papers for publication.