Katherine McCain

Katherine W. McCain

Professor Emerita Pronouns: she/her/hers/herself

Katherine W. McCain

Professor Emerita Pronouns: she/her/hers/herself


Dr. McCain's major teaching areas include Information Access & Resources, Content Representation and the introductory PhD seminar, Topics in Information Science. Her background is in the biological sciences, and her professional experience includes management of a biology library. Her current research interests focus on quantitative studies of structure and change in scholarly fields and their literatures—including the evolution of research specialties over time, the emergence of interdisciplinary fields, and the diffusion of research innovations over time and subject areas. Recent work includes studies in information science and systems, medical informatics and evolutionary developmental biology. In 2014, Dr. McCain received the Harold M. Myers Distinguished Service Award for 2013-2014, which is presented to a faculty or professional staff member of the Drexel community who has gone above and beyond in their service to the University and has been recognized as truly significant in the life of the University. In 2007, Dr. McCain received the Derek J. DeSolla Price Memorial Medal for her contributions to quantitative studies of science.

Degrees / Education


Research Areas

  • Library & Information Science
  • Informatics & Data Science

Research Interests

Scholarly communication, information production and use in the research process, development and structure of scientific specialties, diffusion of innovation, bibliometrics, evaluation of information retrieval systems

Academic Distinctions

  • PhD, Fields: Scholarly Communication, Management of Information Resources, College of Information Studies
  • MS, Invertebrate Zoology & Marine Biology, Western Washington University
  • BS, Zoology, Louisiana State University

Select Publications

  • White, HD & KW McCain (1998). Visualizing a Discipline: An Author Co-citation Analysis of Information Science, 1992-1995. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 49(4):327-355. Received ASIS Best Paper Award, 1998.
  • McCain, KW (2014). Mining Full-Text Journal Articles to Assess Obliteration by Incorporation: Herbert A. Simon's Concepts of Bounded Rationality and Satisficing in Economics, Management, and Psychology. Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology. Accepted for publication.
  • McCain, KW (2014). Obliteration by Incorporation. In Beyond Bibliometrics: Metrics-based Evaluation of Research (Eds. Blaise Cronin & Cassidy R. Sugimoto). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • McCain, KW (2009). Using Tricitation to Dissect the Citation Image: Conrad Hal Waddington and the Rise of Evolutionary Developmental Biology. Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology. 60(7): 1301-1319.
  • McCain, KW (2012). Second Wind: The Two-Stage Citation History of "Networks of Science" (Price, 1965). In International Perspectives on the History of Information Science and Technology (Eds. Toni Carbo & Trudi Bellardo Hahn), NJ: Information Today, Inc. pp. 187-199.
  • CV