I.10 The Structure of Science

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Kevin W. Boyack

Richard Klavans

Kevin W. Boyack and Richard Klavans share a deep interest in the mapping of science as a platform for planning and evaluation on the national, corporate, and personal levels. Through a multistep process, this galaxy-like map of science was created from citation patterns in 800,000 scientific papers published in 2002. Each dot represents one of 96,000 active research communities. Over time, communities can be born, grow, split, merge, or die. By coupling coefficients between papers, using the VxOrd layout algorithm and a modified single-link clustering routine, Boyack and Klavans were able to calculate the placement of research communities. For example, communities made up solely of papers in biochemistry journals show up in the biochemistry section, while communities that are evenly split between biochemistry and chemistry journals show up midway between biochemistry and chemistry. In 2005, this was the most comprehensive and most accurate literature map ever generated.


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

Boyack, Kevin W., and Richard Klavans. 2005. The Structure of Science. Courtesy of Kevin W. Boyack, Sandia National Laboratories and Richard Klavans, SciTech Strategies, Inc. In “1st Iteration (2005): The Power of Maps,” 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.