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applications of science mapping. Henry Small praised highly the profound impact of
Thomas Kuhn on visualizing the entire body of scientific knowledge. He suggested
that if Kuhn's paradigms are snapshots of the structure of science at specific
points in time, examining a sequence of such snapshots might reveal the growth
of science. Kuhn ( 1970 ) speculated that citation linkage might hold the key to solve
In this chapter, we start with general descriptions of science in action as reflected
through indicators such as productivity and authority. We follow the development of
a number of key methods to science mapping over the last few decades, including
co-word analysis and co-citation analysis. These theories and methods have been
an invaluable source of inspiration for generations of researchers across a variety of
disciplines. And we are standing on the shoulders of giants.
What is the nature of scholarly publishing? Will the Internet-led electronic
publishing fundamentally change it? Michael Koenig and Toni Harrell ( 1995 )
addressed this issue by using Derek Price's urn model of Lotka's law.
In 1926, Alfred Lotka (1880-1949) found that the frequency distributions of
authors' productivity in chemistry and physics followed a straight line with a slope
of 2:1 (Lotka 1926 ). In other words, the number of authors who published N papers
is about twice the number of authors who published 2 N papers. This is known
now as Lotka's law.
Derek Price illustrated the nature of scholarship with the following urn model
(Price 1976 ). To play the game, we need a bag, or an urn, and two types of balls
labeled “S” for success or “F” for failure. The player's performance in the game
is expected to track the performance of a scholar. The scholar must publish one
paper to start the game. Whenever he draws an “F”, the game is over. There are two
balls at the beginning of the game: one “S” and the other “F”. The odd is 50-50 on
the first draw. If he draws an “S”, this ball plus another “S” ball will be put in the
bag and the scholar can make another draw. The odds improve with each round of
success. This game can replicate almost exactly the distribution that Lotka derived
Price's urn model accurately and vividly characterizes the nature of scholarship.
A scholar is indeed playing a game: Publications and citations are how scholars
score in the game (Koenig and Harrell 1995 ). To stay in the game, scholars must
play it successfully. Each publication makes it easier for the scholar to score again.
Success breeds success. Electronic publishing on the Internet has the potential to
increase the odds in the urn because it has the potential to speed up the process.
Can online accessibility boost the citations of an article? Steven Lawrence and his
colleagues found a strong correlation between the number of citations of an article
and the likelihood that the article is online (Lawrence 2001 ). They analyzed 119,924
conference articles in computer science and related disciplines, obtained from