Science maps and strategic thinking

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Science maps and strategic thinking

Type: Article in monograph or in proceedings
Title: Science maps and strategic thinking
Author: Skov F.Wang T.Andersen J.P.
Journal Title: STI 2018 Conference Proceedings
Start Page: 267
End Page: 274
Publisher: Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS)
Issue Date: 2018-09-11
Keywords: Scientometrics
Abstract: In this paper, we discuss how to use topical, scientific reference maps to overview and navigate in dynamic research landscapes and how to use such maps as input to strategic thinking. An automated procedure is developed that creates a reference map from a set of selected scholarly papers covering a specified subject area. The method is based on co-occurrences of keywords and distributes keywords on a reference grid where related keywords appear close to another and vice versa. Once the reference map is created other entities such as individual scientific papers, researchers, and research groups may be projected to the map based on the keywords they use. An article may be represented as a point calculated as the mean x and y of all the keywords it contains. Similarly, individual researchers are plotted as the mean of all articles they have written; a research group as the mean of all researchers it includes and so forth. The centre of a distribution is supplemented with point cloud- or density maps in order to map the actual form and size of the distribution in the reference map. The maps can also show how a scientific field has evolved over the years, and potentially the current direction of research. A research institute, a research group or an individual researcher can map their abilities and competencies to the reference map and compare that to potential collaborators and competitors to visualise strengths and weaknesses. These maps may be used as an input or inspiration to strategic discussions where strategic positions or moves may be discussed, evaluated, and presented as strategic narratives: (1) stay and fortify; (2) invade and conquer; (3) merge and fuse subjects; (4) re-apply methodology from other areas; (5) explore and discover new land outside the reference map; and (6) invent new research areas.

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