Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


This study is an empirical examination of Lotka's law and the bibliometric methodology associated with it. A number of previous investigators have contributed to the empirical validation and generalization of Lotka's hypothesis; however, these studies are largely incomparable and inconclusive, owing to substantial differences in sampling, measurement, parameter estimation, testing, and even basic interpretation of the model. These data are subjected to a consistent secondary analysis here; newly collected data are also analysed, to expand the database of previous results. There are two main objectives in this study: First, to thoroughly and critically review the literature bearing on the statistical modelling of author productivity; and second, to assess these hypotheses, methods, and results against empirical data. The resulting identification and application of efficient parameter estimation procedures within a consistent testing methodology make the implications of earlier validity studies explicit; Lotka's model is found to be surprisingly well-fitting, general and stable, much more so than previously supposed.



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