We examined a set of 21 core journals in the field of library and information science (LIS) from 1980-1999 for articles with either principal or co-authors from developing countries (DCs) and the formerly, socialist Eastern European countries (EECs). We found that only 826 (7.9%) of a total of 10400 articles published in 21 journals are from DCs or EECs, The numbers of articles with authors Front China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Botswana, Ghana, Kuwait, and Taiwan considerably increased and those of India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Brazil, and Poland decreased. Using a bibliometric indicator we found that among the countries with declining trends in the numbers of articles, LIS research is receiving high priority in Nigeria and Pakistan whereas among the countries with increasing trends in articles, it is receiving low priority in China, Turkey and Taiwan. A 'co-word' analysis based on the key words and thematic noun- phrases in the titles and abstracts of a sample of 102 articles published in 1996 to 1999 indicated that bibliometrics is the most frequent topic in LIS research in major DCs and EECs. Information retrieval, information need and information use is among the topics of relatively high interest for the researchers working in DCs in Asia and Africa. (C) 2002 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.