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Thematic Maps of 19 iSchools

Chaomei Chen

ASIS&T 2008 Annual Meeting (AM08 2008)
Columbus, Ohio, October 24-29, 2008


The identity of iSchools has drawn widespread attention in the iSchool movement. What is special about an iSchool? What do people do in an interdisciplinary iSchool? How does one iSchool differ from another? How do iSchools fit together as a community? There are many ways to address these questions at different levels. For example, one may choose to interview all the iSchool deans, all the iSchool faculty members, and/or all the iSchool graduates; and one may choose to study the mission statement and strategic plan of each individual iSchool. In this paper, we introduce a macroscopic-and-microscopic analysis of the nature of the iSchool community in terms of scholarly communication patterns and emerging as well as established specialties associated with individual iSchools. Two different types of thematic maps are illustrated: author-concept maps depicting what iSchool authors publish and citation maps of what iSchool authors regarded as important. Author-concept maps of four iSchools and one overall thematic map of 19 iSchools are included.

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