V.7 A Topic Map of NIH Grants 2007

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Bruce W. Herr, II

Gully Burns (USC)

Edmund Talley

David Newman

This map was developed by research programmer Bruce W. Herr II, biomedical researcher Gully A.P.C. Burns, computer scientist David Newman, and National Institutes of Health (NIH) program director Edmund Talley. It is a similarity-based cluster map of all grants awarded by NIH in 2007. Approximately 60,000 grants are represented as dots, color-coded by NIH Institute. To generate the map, the content of each grant was assessed using topic modeling, an unsupervised machine-learning method based on statistics of co-occurring words in the grants’ abstracts. Grants were placed on the map using a layout algorithm that clusters together grants with similar topic mixtures. Clusters are labeled by the computationally derived topics with the highest word allocations in the underlying grants. The map provides a global view of the NIH funding: what topics of research are being heavily pursued, how the topics relate to one another, and what research topics interest each institute. Data can be examined at multiple levels (see zooms for ‘Cardiac Diseases Research’ and ‘Neural Circuit Research’ below) and at different resolutions (see funding portfolios of four institutes together with their top-10 topics on the right). The interactive version is shown on the left and can be explored at http://nihmaps.org.


Herr II, Bruce W., Katy Börner, Russell J. Duhon, Elisha F. Hardy, and Shashikant Penumarthy. 2008. NIH Topic Maps: Topic and Map-Based Clustering Analysis of NIH Grants. Accessed September 23, 2011. http://www.nihmaps.org.

Talley, Edmund M., David Newman, David Mimno, Bruce W. Herr II, Hanna M. Wallach, Gully A.P.C. Burns, A. G. Miriam Leenders, and Andrew McCallum. 2011. “Database of NIH Research Using Machine-Learned Categories and Graphical Clustering.” Nature Methods 8 (6): 443–444.

Herr II, Bruce W., Edmund M. Talley, Gully A.P.C. Burns, David Newman, and Gavin LaRowe. 2009. “NIH Visual Browser: An Interactive Visualization of Biomedical Research.” In Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Information Visualisation, 505-509.

Herr II, Bruce W., Gully A.P.C. Burns, David Newman, and Edmund Talley. 2007. A Topic Map of NIH Grants 2007. Courtesy of ChalkLabs, Indiana University & Information Sciences Institute, University of California, Irvine. 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.