On the Widespread Impact of the Most Prolific Countries in Special Education Research: A Bibliometric Analysis
The aim of this study is to identify the most prolific countries in the field of special education and to discuss the widespread impact of their papers by taking into account the country’s h-index. Through a bibliometric analysis, the data were collected in the Web of ScienceCore Collection category “Education, Special” in the Social Science Citation Index during 2011-2020. The 25 most prolific countries in the field of special education were determined in terms of paper productivity, and it was seen that the leading country was undisputedly the USA (54.42%). Meanwhile, a strong positive correlation was found between the h-index and the number of papers published by the countries (r=0.864). On the other hand, when the ranking in terms of the number of papers was reconfigured by the h-index, it was relatively changed. The possible reasons for this change for the countries with the most changing rankings were discussed by considering some definitive criteria such as the journal quartiles, the percentage of international and domestic, and the percentage of open access papers.This study reports a positive correlation between the quality and quantity in the field of special education for the publications of countries. It has been shown that where the positive correlation deviates, then especially, the journal quartiles, the percentage of international collaboration and the percentage of open access papers have a significant effect. The bibliometric findings may be useful to enrich the discussion about the widespread impact of papers and debate whether the use of h-index is acceptable for cross-national comparisons.
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