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Home > iSGTW - 15 April 2009 > Image of the Week - Los Alamos' "Map of Science"

 

Image of the week - Los Alamos’ “Map of Science”


The Map of Science illustrates, in real time, the online behavior of scientists accessing different scientific journals, publications, aggregators, etc. Colors represent the scientific discipline of each journal, based on disciplines as classified by the Getty Research Institute's Art and Architecture Thesaurus, while lines reflect the navigation of users from one journal to another when interacting with scholarly web portals. Image courtesy of Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico have produced what they call the world's first “Map of Science” — a high-resolution, graphic depiction of the virtual trails scientists leave behind whenever they retrieve information from online services.

The research, led by Johan Bollen of LANL, and his colleagues at the Santa Fe Institute, collected usage-log data gathered from a variety of publishers, aggregators, and universities from 2006 to 2008. Their collection totaled nearly 1 billion requests for online information. Because scientists usually read articles in online form well before they can be cited in print, usage data reveal scientific activity nearly in real-time, the map’s creators say.

“This research will be a crucial component of future efforts to study and predict scientific innovation, as well novel methods to determine the true impact of articles and journals,” Bollen said to the Public Library of Science.

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