VI.9 Weaving the Fabric of 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 platform for planning and evaluation on the national, corporate, and personal levels. This map represents science as a set of fabrics in which scientific topics are woven by scholars over time. Just as a textile contains a perpendicular weaving of threads, this representation of the fabric of science consists of a perpendicular weave, with horizontal threads (temporal sequences of topics) and vertical weaving of those topics by leading researchers. Five annual models of science were created using Scopus data. Topics from these five annual models were linked in time to form the horizontal threads. Leading researchers publish in multiple threads, thus weaving them together into micro-fabrics. Overlaps in leadership between multiple researchers stitch the micro-fabrics into larger fabrics. This poster shows the fabrics of science in two areas: ‘Cardiology’ and ‘Data Security.’ Fabrics can help scientists see the evolution and linkage of topic space and distinguish thread builders from weavers. The fabric of science can help researchers to understand and discover ways to change their strategic positions in science.


Boyack, Kevin W., and Richard Klavans. 2010. Weaving the Fabric of Science. Courtesy of Kevin W. Boyack and Richard Klavans, SciTech Strategies, Inc. In “6th Iteration (2009): Science Maps for Scholars,” Places & Spaces: Mapping Science, edited by Katy Börner and Elisha F. Hardy.

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.