IV.9 The Scientific Roots of Technology

Languages: English | Español | 汉语 | Deutsch

Kevin W. Boyack

Richard Klavans

Kevin W. Boyack and Richard Klavans are interested in creating high-quality maps of science that can be used as tools for planning and evaluation on multiple levels. In this work, Boyack and Klavans simplify their Maps of Science: Forecasting Large Trends in Science (featured in the third iteration of this exhibit) into a circular map. The 554 scientific disciplines, representing over 16,000 journals and proceedings, are placed in a logical order around the perimeter of a circle. The resulting “circle of science” is used as a reference system to show the scientific roots of technology. Over 18,000 inventor-authors from the Scopus publication and United States Patent and Trademark Office databases (2002-2006) were identified to link technological output (patents) from inventors to scientific output (papers) of authors. Authors are located within the circle map at the average position of their scientific papers using the disciplines in which they publish. Patents by these authors are then placed at the authors’ locations on the map. Some patents and classes are tied to one area of science (e.g., ‘G06F,’ near the edge), while others build on multiple areas of science (e.g., ‘C07D,’ near the center). Some areas of science (e.g., physics, computer science) are tied to large numbers of patents, while other areas of science (e.g., social sciences) are tied to very few patents.


Boyack, Kevin W., and Richard Klavans. 2008. “Measuring Science-Technology Interaction Using Rare Inventor-Author Names.” Journal of Informetrics 2 (3): 173-182.

Klavans, Richard, and Kevin W. Boyack. (2010). “Toward an Objective, Reliable and Accurate Method for Measuring Research Leadership.” Scientometrics 82 (3): 539-553.

Boyack, Kevin W., and Richard Klavans. 2008. The Scientific Roots of Technology. Courtesy of Richard Klavans, SciTech Strategies, Inc. In “4th Iteration (2008): Science Maps for Economic Decision-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.