Kraker Peter, Schlögl C. , Jack K., Lindstaedt Stefanie
The Quest for Keeping an Overview: Knowledge Domain Visualizations based on Co-Readership Patterns
In: Science 2.0, IEEE Computer Society Special Technical Community on Social Networking E-Letter, vol. 3, no. 1, 2015
Given the enormous amount of scientific knowledgethat is produced each and every day, the need for better waysof gaining – and keeping – an overview of research fields isbecoming more and more apparent. In a recent paper publishedin the Journal of Informetrics , we analyze the adequacy andapplicability of readership statistics recorded in social referencemanagement systems for creating such overviews. First, weinvestigated the distribution of subject areas in user librariesof educational technology researchers on Mendeley. The resultsshow that around 69% of the publications in an average userlibrary can be attributed to a single subject area. Then, we usedco-readership patterns to map the field of educational technology.The resulting knowledge domain visualization, based on the mostread publications in this field on Mendeley, reveals 13 topicareas of educational technology research. The visualization isa recent representation of the field: 80% of the publicationsincluded were published within ten years of data collection. Thecharacteristics of the readers, however, introduce certain biasesto the visualization. Knowledge domain visualizations based onreadership statistics are therefore multifaceted and timely, but itis important that the characteristics of the underlying sample aremade transparent.