C. Ferrer

University of Quebec at Montreal (CANADA)
In the early 1960’ Derek De Solla Price coined the concept of scientometrics: the measurement of scientific and technological activity. Its development was based on the construction of scientific bibliographic archives and the elaboration of indicators, an area where Eugene Garfield –the founder of the ISI (the Institute for Scientific Information), nowadays known as the ISI Web of Knowledge– played a fundamental role. Since the development of the Internet, we have witnessed an exponential growth in the availability of digital libraries. Currently, bibliographic electronic databases are no longer restricted to the exact sciences as they also encompass the social sciences, the humanities and the arts. The aim of this paper is to highlight the advantages as well as the challenges that these new technologies and methodologies represent for researchers working in literary studies. Based on the experience with my research project «Babel Borges», I will explore two main issues: the availability and architecture of digital libraries, and the elaboration and analysis of bibliometric indicators. Since my project is centered on the Argentinean author Jorge Luis Borges, I will focus on the field of Latin American literature. Thus, I will compare the main international database –ISI Web of Knowledge– to North American and European digital bibliographies –MLA (Modern Language Association International Bibliography) and ISOC (Base de datos ISOC)–, and to regional ones – SciElo (Scientific Electronic Library Online) and Latindex (Sistema Regional de Información en línea para Revistas Científicas de América Latina, el Caribe, España y Portugal). Specifically, I will discuss the coverage and the accessibility provided by these databases. In relation to the indicators, I will emphasize the challenge that represent the procedures of transferring and interpreting data in a field where most researchers and students are not usually trained to deal with quantitative methods and analysis. In terms of innovation, this presentation will bring to light the importance that digital resources and scientometrics represent for future developments in literary studies. Moreover, since this study is focused on Latin America, it will allow us to take part in the discussion about the complex relations that exist between economic growth, knowledge development and globalization.