The degree of matching between the content of articles and the subject area of the MSRT Journals based on text mining

Document Type : Original Article




Purpose: According to the recommendation of the country's Scientific Publications Commission as well as the Research Policy and Planning Office of the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology regarding adherence to the thematic axes announced by the scientific publications, all publications should move towards this policy and It is expected that the content of the articles will reflect related researches and be in line with the scope and goals of the publication. The purpose of this approach is to provide a platform in such a way that the academic community, including researchers, authors and readers, can identify each publication with a specialized subjects. Therefore, in this research, it is attempted to use the content analysis method to determine the degree of conformity of the articles with the scope announced by the journals of the Ministry of Science in six macro-level thematic areas.

Method: The research has been applied in a descriptive-exploratory way; because it used text mining techniques. The applicability of this research is to investigate the state of the research field and the obtained results are used in decisions and policies as well as planning. The statistical comunity of the research consists of 1150 journals approved by the MSRT (1400) based on the journals portal. Due to the limitations of time, human and financial resources, it was not possible to examine the scope of the articles of all journals in the current research; therefore, the sample size should be determined. In this regard, PASS version 11 software was used to determine the sample size. Considering the confidence interval of 0.95, the test power of 0.80 and the expected correlation of 0.20, the minimum sample size required by the software was determined to be 116 publication titles. The intended sample size was selected using the stratified random sampling method in such a way that the proportion between the sample and the population in each of the six macro-level thematic areas determined by the MSRT, including humanities, technical and engineering, basic sciences, art and architecture, Agriculture and natural resources and veterinary as well as intermediate level subject areas should be observed. The required bibliographic data was extracted from all the articles of the last three years of sample research journals and pre-processed including normalization and removal of stop words. Topics were identified by the method of vocabulary repetition and clustering. Finally, similarity measurement was done on the obtained data and knowledge analysis was done.

Findings: The findings showed that in 8% of the reviewed journals, the content of the articles was consistent with the subject range listed on the website by 95%. The lowest matching rate is 40%, which was observed in 20% of the reviewed journals. Among these, 47% of journals were committed by 60 percen, 23 percent of the journals, 70 percent and 2 percent of the journals were committed to declarative subjects.

Result: Considering the role and importance of scientific journals, it is necessary to periodically evaluate them from different quantitative and qualitative aspects. The results of these evaluations can help the higher authorities and policy makers in the country's science and knowledge field in research planning, evaluation, monitoring scientific progress and improving the quality of research activities. Also, those involved in journals can benefit from the results of these evaluations in order to improve the content of the journals and develop standard guidelines. It is important for researchers and those involved in publications to know in which journal their topic of interest can be accessed and published. Therefore, the examination of the topics discussed in the articles of the journal shows an objective picture of the existing conditions and the state of reflection of the research in that journal. As the thematic trends of scientific journals become clear, a clearer identity is created for each journal; So that every specialist can expect that a particular publications will cover the field of study. Also, editorial boardes should try to publish articles based on the journals policy and subject areas while considering the course of the journals articles over time.


Main Subjects