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      Science Mapping: A Systematic Review of the Literature

      Journal of Data and Information Science

      Walter de Gruyter GmbH

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          Abstract

          Purpose

          We present a systematic review of the literature concerning major aspects of science mapping to serve two primary purposes: First, to demonstrate the use of a science mapping approach to perform the review so that researchers may apply the procedure to the review of a scientific domain of their own interest, and second, to identify major areas of research activities concerning science mapping, intellectual milestones in the development of key specialties, evolutionary stages of major specialties involved, and the dynamics of transitions from one specialty to another.

          Design/methodology/approach

          We first introduce a theoretical framework of the evolution of a scientific specialty. Then we demonstrate a generic search strategy that can be used to construct a representative dataset of bibliographic records of a domain of research. Next, progressively synthesized co-citation networks are constructed and visualized to aid visual analytic studies of the domain’s structural and dynamic patterns and trends. Finally, trajectories of citations made by particular types of authors and articles are presented to illustrate the predictive potential of the analytic approach.

          Findings

          The evolution of the science mapping research involves the development of a number of interrelated specialties. Four major specialties are discussed in detail in terms of four evolutionary stages: conceptualization, tool construction, application, and codification. Underlying connections between major specialties are also explored. The predictive analysis demonstrates citations trajectories of potentially transformative contributions.

          Research limitations

          The systematic review is primarily guided by citation patterns in the dataset retrieved from the literature. The scope of the data is limited by the source of the retrieval, i.e. the Web of Science, and the composite query used. An iterative query refinement is possible if one would like to improve the data quality, although the current approach serves our purpose adequately. More in-depth analyses of each specialty would be more revealing by incorporating additional methods such as citation context analysis and studies of other aspects of scholarly publications.

          Practical implications

          The underlying analytic process of science mapping serves many practical needs, notably bibliometric mapping, knowledge domain visualization, and visualization of scientific literature. In order to master such a complex process of science mapping, researchers often need to develop a diverse set of skills and knowledge that may span multiple disciplines. The approach demonstrated in this article provides a generic method for conducting a systematic review.

          Originality/value

          Incorporating the evolutionary stages of a specialty into the visual analytic study of a research domain is innovative. It provides a systematic methodology for researchers to achieve a good understanding of how scientific fields evolve, to recognize potentially insightful patterns from visually encoded signs, and to synthesize various information so as to capture the state of the art of the domain.

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          Most cited references 65

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          Cytoscape: a software environment for integrated models of biomolecular interaction networks.

          Cytoscape is an open source software project for integrating biomolecular interaction networks with high-throughput expression data and other molecular states into a unified conceptual framework. Although applicable to any system of molecular components and interactions, Cytoscape is most powerful when used in conjunction with large databases of protein-protein, protein-DNA, and genetic interactions that are increasingly available for humans and model organisms. Cytoscape's software Core provides basic functionality to layout and query the network; to visually integrate the network with expression profiles, phenotypes, and other molecular states; and to link the network to databases of functional annotations. The Core is extensible through a straightforward plug-in architecture, allowing rapid development of additional computational analyses and features. Several case studies of Cytoscape plug-ins are surveyed, including a search for interaction pathways correlating with changes in gene expression, a study of protein complexes involved in cellular recovery to DNA damage, inference of a combined physical/functional interaction network for Halobacterium, and an interface to detailed stochastic/kinetic gene regulatory models.
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            An index to quantify an individual's scientific research output.

             J. E. Hirsch (2005)
            I propose the index h, defined as the number of papers with citation number > or =h, as a useful index to characterize the scientific output of a researcher.
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              Indexing by latent semantic analysis

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Data and Information Science
                Walter de Gruyter GmbH
                2543-683X
                March 21 2017
                March 21 2017
                : 2
                : 2
                : 1-40
                Article
                10.1515/jdis-2017-0006
                © 2017

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0

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