, Volume 68, Issue 3, pp 377–393 | Cite as

Mapping research topics using word-reference co-occurrences: A method and an exploratory case study

  • Peter van den Besselaar
  • Gaston Heimeriks


Mapping of science and technology can be done at different levels of aggregation, using a variety of methods. In this paper, we propose a method in which title words are used as indicators for the content of a research topic, and cited references are used as the context in which words get their meaning. Research topics are represented by sets of papers that are similar in terms of these word-reference combinations. In this way we use words without neglecting differences and changes in their meanings. The method has several advantages, such as high coverage of publications. As an illustration we apply the method to produce knowledge maps of information science.


Information Retrieval Citation Analysis Research Front Bibliographic Coupling Exploratory Case Study 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Akadémiai Kiadó 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter van den Besselaar
    • 1
  • Gaston Heimeriks
    • 2
  1. 1.Science System Assessment Center, Rathenau Instituut; Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR), Universiteit van Amsterdam
  2. 2.Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS)

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