V.8 A Clickstream Map of Science

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Johan Bollen

Herbert Van de Sompel

Aric Hagberg

Luís M.A. Bettencourt

Ryan Chute

Marko A. Rodriguez

Lyudmila Balakireva

Developed by psychologist Johan Bollen, computer scientist Herbert Van de Sompel, mathematician Aric Hagberg, physicists Luís M.A. Bettencourt and Lyudmila Balakireva, software engineer Ryan Chute, and graph-systems consultant Marko A. Rodriguez, this is the first map created from large-scale, world-wide scholarly usage data collected by the MESUR project from some of the world’s most significant publishers, aggregators, and large university consortia. It visualizes the collective flow of how information seekers move from one journal to another in their online navigation behavior. As it reflects the actions of those who read the literature but rarely publish themselves, practitioner-driven domains appear larger than in citation-based maps. Most scientific domains, including the social sciences and humanities, are highly interdisciplinary, but the latter are more so as shown by the concentration of connections in that part of the network. Practitioner-driven domains such as nursing and tourism are strongly manifested in this map because they are highly populated with non-publishing, non-citing scholars that nevertheless read the relevant literature in their domain.


Bollen, Johan, Lyudmila Balakireva, Luís Bettencourt, Ryan Chute, Aric Hagberg, Marko A. Rodriguez, and Herbert Van de Sompel. 2009. “Clickstream Data Yields High-Resolution Maps of Science.” PLoSOne 4 (3): 1-11.

Bollen, Johan, Lyudmila Balakireva, Luís Bettencourt, Ryan Chute, Aric Hagberg, Marko A. Rodriguez, and Herbert Van de Sompel. 2008. A Clickstream Map of Science. Courtesy of Los Alamos National Laboratory. In “5th Iteration (2009): Science Maps for Science Policy-Makers,” Places & Spaces: Mapping Science, edited by Katy Börner and Elisha F. Hardy. http://scimaps.org.

Acknowledgements: This exhibit is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. IIS-0238261, CHE-0524661, IIS-0534909 and IIS-0715303, the James S. McDonnell Foundation; Thomson Reuters; the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center, University Information Technology Services, and the School of Library and Information Science, all three at Indiana University. Some of the data used to generate the science maps is from the Web of Science by Thomson Reuters and Scopus by Elsevier. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.