IX.6 Visualizing Trends and Dynamics: 30 Years of Scientific Development

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Nees Jan van Eck

Ludo Waltman

Ferdy van Gool

Created by computer scientist Nees Jan van Eck, information scientist Ludo Waltman, and interaction designer Ferdy van Gool, this map provides a high-level visualization of the development of science during the period 1980–2010. The map is based on all publications in the sciences and the social sciences from this period indexed in the Web of Science bibliographic database. Based on citation patterns, publications were classified into seven broad fields of science—listed color-coded on right. Using the Apache OpenNLP part-of-speech tagger, nouns and adjectives were extracted from the titles and abstracts of publications. Four subperiods are distinguished, and for each combination of the seven fields and the four subperiods, the most characteristic nouns and adjectives were algorithmically identified. Using the website http://tagul.com, a word cloud was produced that displays the nouns and adjectives that best characterize the given field and subperiod. Together, 28 word clouds show how the topics studied in different fields of science have evolved over the past 30 years.


Jan van Eck, Nees, Ludo Waltman, and Ferdy van Gool. 2013. Visualizing Trends and Dynamics: 30 Years of Scientific Development. Leiden, The Netherlands. Courtesy of the Centre for Science and Technology Studies of Leiden University, the Netherlands. In “9th Iteration (2013): Science Maps Showing Trends and Dynamics,” Places & Spaces: Mapping Science, edited by Katy Börner and Todd N. Theriault. 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.