Betweenness and diversity in journal citation networks as measures of interdisciplinarity—A tribute to Eugene Garfield

Authors : Loet Leydesdorff, Caroline S. Wagner, Lutz Bornmann

Journals were central to Eugene Garfield’s research interests. Among other things, journals are considered as units of analysis for bibliographic databases such as the Web of Science and Scopus. In addition to providing a basis for disciplinary classifications of journals, journal citation patterns span networks across boundaries to variable extents.

Using betweenness centrality (BC) and diversity, we elaborate on the question of how to distinguish and rank journals in terms of interdisciplinarity. Interdisciplinarity, however, is difficult to operationalize in the absence of an operational definition of disciplines; the diversity of a unit of analysis is sample-dependent. BC can be considered as a measure of multi-disciplinarity.

Diversity of co-citation in a citing document has been considered as an indicator of knowledge integration, but an author can also generate trans-disciplinary—that is, non-disciplined—variation by citing sources from other disciplines.

Diversity in the bibliographic coupling among citing documents can analogously be considered as diffusion  or differentiation of knowledge across disciplines. Because the citation networks in the cited direction reflect both structure and variation, diversity in this direction is perhaps the best available measure of interdisciplinarity at the journal level.

Furthermore, diversity is based on a summation and can therefore be decomposed; differences among (sub)sets can be tested for statistical significance. In the appendix, a general-purpose routine for measuring diversity in networks is provided.

URL : Betweenness and diversity in journal citation networks as measures of interdisciplinarity—A tribute to Eugene Garfield

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-017-2528-2

 

 

Interroger le texte scientifique

Auteur/Author : Guillaume Cabanac

Les documents textuels sont des vecteurs d’information familiers et incontournables de notre société de l’information. Avec l’essor des plateformes numériques et des médias sociaux, le texte se décline désormais en pages web, billets de blogs, commentaires, tweets et tags, entre autres. Auparavant consommateurs passifs, les lecteurs se muent à leur tour en producteurs de contenus.

En résultent des échanges interpersonnels qui tissent des réseaux sociaux numériques s’étendant bien au-delà de nos cercles relationnels. Dans ce contexte, nature et format des textes, intentions de leurs auteurs (informer, rediffuser, critiquer, compléter, corriger, etc.), contexte spatio-temporel ainsi que véracité et fraîcheur variables des informations sont autant de subtilités à intégrer dans les modèles de recherche d’information.

La première partie de ce mémoire présente une synthèse de résultats en recherche d’information visant à modéliser ces facteurs pour améliorer la pertinence des recherches sur des corpus textuels, notamment issus de médias sociaux.

Le programme de recherche que je développe vise également à « interroger le texte » pour révéler des informations au sujet de son contenu, de ses auteurs et de ses lecteurs. Le texte scientifique a été choisi comme cible pour la richesse de son contenu et de ses méta- données. Ainsi, la deuxième partie du mémoire synthétise des résultats en scientométrie, terme désignant l’étude quantitative des sciences et de l’innovation.

Il s’est agi de questionner des textes scientifiques et les réseaux sous-jacents (lexique, références, auteurs, institutions, etc.) pour faire émerger des connaissances à forte valeur ajoutée et apporter un éclairage sur la création et la diffusion des savoirs scientifiques.

Les deux volets articulés dans ce mémoire concourent à définir un programme de recherche interdisciplinaire à la croisée de l’informatique, la scientométrie et la sociologie des sciences.

Son ambition consiste à interroger le texte scientifique pour en améliorer l’accès (via la recherche d’information) tout en contribuant à éliciter les ressorts de la genèse et de l’évolution des mondes sociaux et des savoirs en sciences (via la scientométrie).

URL : Interroger le texte scientifique

Alternative location : https://tel.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-01413878/

A l’épreuve de l’hétérogénéité : données de recherche et interdisciplinarité : L’exemple du projet européen IPERION-CH

Auteur/Author : Marie Puren

Avec la mise en place de grandes infrastructures de recherche en sciences du patrimoine comme E-RIHS, on rassemble des acteurs divers, issus à la fois des sciences humaines et sociales et des sciences expérimentales. Le paléontologue croise l’historien de l’art, et le physicien collabore avec le restaurateur.

Dans ce cadre, la gestion des données de la recherche est un véritable défi, car elle doit rassembler, valoriser et rendre accessibles des données produites par des protagonistes très différents, utilisant des méthodes elles aussi très différentes. Comment en effet gérer et échanger à la fois des données d’expériences, des images numérisées et des rapports de restauration ?

Le cycle de vie des données de la recherche, de leur création à leur diffusion en passant par leur analyse, au sein de cette communauté interdisciplinaire interroge la définition même de ce type de données, et nous amène à questionner les pratiques autour de celles-ci.

URL : https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01408951/

How Does National Scientific Funding Support Emerging Interdisciplinary Research: A Comparison Study of Big Data Research in the US and China

Authors : Ying Huang, Yi Zhang, Jan Youtie, Alan L. Porter, Xuefeng Wang

How do funding agencies ramp-up their capabilities to support research in a rapidly emerging area?

This paper addresses this question through a comparison of research proposals awarded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) in the field of Big Data.

Big data is characterized by its size and difficulties in capturing, curating, managing and processing it in reasonable periods of time. Although Big Data has its legacy in longstanding information technology research, the field grew very rapidly over a short period.

We find that the extent of interdisciplinarity is a key aspect in how these funding agencies address the rise of Big Data. Our results show that both agencies have been able to marshal funding to support Big Data research in multiple areas, but the NSF relies to a greater extent on multi-program funding from different fields.

We discuss how these interdisciplinary approaches reflect the research hot-spots and innovation pathways in these two countries.

URL : How Does National Scientific Funding Support Emerging Interdisciplinary Research: A Comparison Study of Big Data Research in the US and China

DOI : 10.1371/journal.pone.0154509

Prominent but Less Productive: The Impact of Interdisciplinarity on Scientists’ Research

Inter-disciplinary research (IDR) is being promoted by federal agencies and universities nationwide because it presumably spurs transformative, innovative science. In this paper we bring empirical data to assess whether IDR is indeed beneficial, and whether costs accompany potential benefits. Existing research highlights this tension: whereas the innovation literature suggests that spanning disciplines is beneficial because it allows scientists to see connections across fields, the categories literature suggests that spanning disciplines is penalized, because the resulting research may be lower quality or confusing to place.

To investigate this, we empirically distinguish production and reception effects and we highlight a new production penalty: cognitive and collaborative challenges associated with IDR may result in slower progress, hurdles during peer review, and lower productivity (though not necessarily lower quality).

We compile and analyze data on almost 900 research center-based scientists and their 32,000 published articles. Using an innovative measure of IDR that considers the similarity of the disciplines spanned, we document both penalties (fewer papers published) and benefits (increased visibility) associated with IDR, and show that it is a high-risk, high-reward endeavor. These costs and benefits depend on characteristics of the field and a scientist’s place in it.

URL : http://arxiv.org/abs/1510.06802

On the relationship between interdisciplinarity and impact: different modalities of interdisciplinarity lead to different types of impact

« There is increasing interest among funding agencies to understand how they can best contribute to enhancing the socio-economic impact of research. Interdisciplinarity is often presented as a research mode that can facilitate impact but there exist a limited number of analytical studies that have attempted to examine whether or how interdisciplinarity can affect the societal relevance of research. We investigate fifteen Social Sciences research investments in the UK to examine how they have achieved impact. We analyse research drivers, cognitive distances, degree of integration, collaborative practices, stakeholder engagement and the type of impact generated. The analysis suggests that interdisciplinarity cannot be associated with a single type of impact mechanism. Also, interdisciplinarity is neither a sufficient nor a necessary condition for achieving societal relevance and impact. However, we identify a specific modality — « long-range » interdisciplinarity, which appears more likely to be associated with societal impact because of its focused problem-orientation and its strong interaction with stakeholders. »

URL : http://arxiv.org/abs/1412.6684

Innovative information service development: meeting the information needs of an interdisciplinary, cross-sector research complex

« Question: How can a team of health sciences librarians effectively meet the diverse needs of a new research complex?

Setting: A satellite location of an academic health sciences library that spearheads information services for an interdisciplinary, cross-sector research complex provides a case study.

Methods: The health sciences library established a library space at a new research complex that combines the services and expertise of a bioinformationist, translational research librarian, and public/private partnership librarian. The focus is on integrated information services, and the librarians serve as a boundary-spanning unit within the research complex.

Results: The colocation of the library with research cores and other units at the research complex has led to the creation of new partnerships and deepened existing ones.

Conclusion: Meeting the information needs of a diverse population requires a multifaceted approach to providing information services, and librarians must proactively seek out opportunities to establish meaningful collaborations. »

URL : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3878944/