III.9 Maps of Science: Forecasting Large Trends in Science

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Kevin W. Boyack

Richard Klavans

Richard Klavans and Kevin W. Boyack share a deep interest in the mapping of science as a valuable tool for planning and evaluation on the national, corporate, and personal levels. The map featured here is based on the largest set of scientific literature mapped by 2007: 7.2 million papers and over 16,000 separate journals, proceedings, and series from a five-year period, 2001-2005. Groups of journals characterizing the disciplines on the map were defined using a metric based on a combination of the bibliographic coupling of references and keyword vectors. A three-dimensional layout of the disciplines (groups of journals) places those disciplines on a sphere, which is then unfolded using a Mercator projection to give a two-dimensional version of the map. A forecast of how the structure of science may change in the near future was generated by evaluating the change in the connectedness of various regions of the map over time. The structure of science is very likely to change in the future, and these maps can show us how. More information can be found at http://mapofscience.com.


Klavans, Richard and Kevin W. Boyack. (2006). “Quantitative Evaluation of Large Maps of Science.” Scientometrics 68 (3): 475-499.

Klavans, Richard and Kevin W. Boyack. 2007. Maps of Science: Forecasting Large Trends in Science. Courtesy of Richard Klavans, SciTech Strategies, Inc. In “3rd Iteration (2007): The Power of Forecasts,” Places & Spaces: Mapping Science, edited by Katy Börner and Julie M. Davis. 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.