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Indicators of Structural Change and Interdisciplinarity: Dynamic Animations of Journal Maps

Loet Leydesdorff

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


The dynamic analysis of structural change because of potentially interdisciplinary developments among fields of science requires methodologically the integration of multivariate and time-series analysis. Recent developments in animation techniques enable us to distinguish the stress originating in each time-slice from the stress originating from the sequencing of time-slices, and thus to optimize the trade-offs between these two sources of variance using multidimensional scaling (MDS). Furthermore, visualization programs like Pajek and Visone allow us to show not only the positions of the nodes, but also their relational attributes like betweenness centrality. Betweenness centrality in the vector space can be considered as an indicator of interdisciplinarity. Using this indicator, the dynamics of the citation impact environments of the journals Cognitive Science, Social Networks, and Nanotechnology are animated and assessed in terms of processes of structural change among the disciplines involved.

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