II.5 HistCite™ Visualization of DNA Development

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Elisha F. H. Allgood

Eugene Garfield

Katy Börner

Jan Witkowski

Ludmila Pollock

Eugene Garfield, founder of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), now Thomson Reuters, introduced “The Use of Citation Data in Writing the History of Science” in 1964. Forty years later, his HistCite™ tool automatically generates chronological tables and historiographs of topical paper collections. It assists researchers, librarians, and others in the following areas: identifying core papers on a topic in question; understanding the impact of specific authors, papers, and journals; and making sense of the history of old and new research topics. The HistCite™ tables support the interactive display and permit the sorting of papers chronologically as well as by journal, volume, issue number and page, and citation scores. Featuring graphic design by Elisha F. Hardy, concept and design from Katy Börner, images provided by Ludmila Pollock, and text from Jan Witkowski, this map compares, contrasts, and combines a modified version of Garfield’s manually created graph published in 1964 (left) with the HistCite™ graph automatically generated in 2006 (right). The 1964 graph shows the network of paper and citation linkages that led to the discovery of the DNA structure published by Watson and Crick in 1953. The HistCite™ graph plots major papers that cite Watson and Crick’s influential work. Find out more about the HistCite™ tool at http://histcite.com.


Garfield, Eugene. 2004. “Historiographic Mapping of Knowledge Domains Literature.” Journal of Information Science 30 (2): 119-145.

Garfield, Eugene, Irving H. Sher, and Richard J. Torpie. 1964. “The Use of Citation Data in Writing the History of Science.” Report for the Air Force Office of Scientific Research under Contract AF49 (638)-1256. Philadelphia, PA: Institute for Scientific Information. Accessed September 30, 2009. http://www.garfield.library.upenn.edu/papers/useofcitdatawritinghistofsci.pdf.

Garfield, Eugene, Elisha F. Hardy, Katy Börner, Ludmila Pollock, and Jan Witkowski. HistCite TM Visualization of DNA Development by Eugene Garfield (HistCite TM ). Courtesy of Eugene Garfield, Thomson Reuters, Indiana University, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. In “2nd Iteration (2006): The Power of Reference Systems,” Places & Spaces: Mapping Science, edited by Katy Börner and
Deborah MacPherson. 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.