II.9 Map of Scientific Paradigms

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Richard Klavans

Kevin W. Boyack

Kevin W. Boyack and Richard Klavans create maps of science that can be used for planning and evaluation on the national, corporate, and personal levels. Science itself can be thought of as containing themes and paradigms: themes are current areas of research, while paradigms comprise the dominant tool sets and existing knowledge that are used by current researchers. To visualize these scientific paradigms, Boyack and Klavans used the VxOrd graph layout tool to recursively cluster the 820,000 most important papers referenced in 2003, resulting in 776 paradigms. The most dominant relationships between paradigms were also calculated and are shown as lines between paradigms. The map of scientific paradigms constitutes a reference system that can be used for multiple purposes. Countries, industries, companies, and individual researchers can all locate themselves within the map, either as a single point or as a specific collection of paradigms. Science education and discovery can also be enhanced by linking to the map stories and facts that exemplify content and relationships between scientific paradigms.


Klavans, Richard, and Kevin W. Boyack. 2007. “Is There a Convergent Structure to Science? A Comparison of Maps using the ISI and Scopus Databases.” In Proceedings of the 11th International Conference of the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics, edited by Daniel Torres-Salinas and Henk F. Moed, 437-448. Madrid, Spain: Society for Scientific Information and Documentation.

Boyack, Kevin W. & Klavans, Richard. 2006. Map of Scientific Paradigms. Courtesy of Kevin W. Boyack and Richard Klavans, SciTech Strategies, Inc. 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.