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Scientists Publish Map of Knowledge

By The New York Times

March 19, 2009

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Scientists at the research library of the Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed a map of knowledge that better reflects the actual use of information by scholars. The map is based on the electronic data searches of users as they move from one journal to another, and associations between the journals are established.

The electronic data searches produced a hub and wheel arrangement for the map, with the humanities at the center and the sciences arrayed around them. The journals are color-coded, with physics in light purple and chemistry in blue, for example, and there are interconnecting lines that represent the likelihood that a researcher will click from one journal to another on the computer screen. Scholars may click from one journal to another based on a text search, an email message, and other kinds of links, says Johan Bollen, the leader of the research team. "What we have is a map of worldwide scientific activity," he says.

From The New York Times
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