Friday, 21 November 2008

Web of Science - Citation Mapping Tool

The web of Science have introduced a beta version of a Citation Mapping Tool. It is available as an option when you view an individual record on the Web of Science database. The tool creates a map of documents cited by an individual article and documents that have cited that article. In the terminology of the tool documents cited are backward and documents that cite the article you are looking at (route document) are forward.

The tool has a number of useful features. You can for example move the icon for the route document around the screen changing the perspective of the map. This has the effect of zooming in or out. The tool also provides for a second generation of citing, so you can view the citations of documents cited by the document you started with (route document).

The visual effect is intriguing but is it useful? Well it adds another dimension to the ways of understanding the relationships between documents and it makes exploring those relationships easier just by manipulating your own perspective on the map using your mouse. Textual information is retained in panes at the base of the screen or can be retrieved from a pop-up menu if you roll the mouse over any node on the map. Added value comes in being able to reorder the nodes by author, date, institution etc., and colour code the nodes to easily identify for example the range of dates in a group of citations.

Screen shots generated from the Citation Mapping Tool are included in the PowerPoint presentation.


Web of Science - requires an ATHENS Account off campus