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Making a Mark: a computational and visual analysis of one researcher’s intellectual domain

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Dr. David Mark is widely regarded as a path-breaking researcher in geographic information science. What are the structural and temporal characteristics of his intellectual contributions, as seen through the eyes of the broader academic community? Aiming to answer that question, this article presents a scientometric analysis of publications that have been cited alongside David Mark’s papers. In deliberate contrast to the widespread focus on using citation data to condense scientific impact into a handful of indicators, the methodological contribution of this study lies in its mix of computational and visualization approaches. In the search for latent domain structures, state-of-the-art practices in information science, bibliometrics, and network visualization are combined and extended. An initial network of 50,000+ publications and 4,000,000+ document co-citations undergoes a series of transformations reducing it to 9000 publications that are then clustered in a two-stage process, leading to 678 communities whose co-citation linkages are used to delineate 19 super-communities. To enable replication of this approach for other studies, much focus in this article is on detailed discussion of that workflow as well as on highlighting the reasoning behind the choices made among data sources and analytical methods. The topical evolution of David Mark’s domain of influence is explored in some detail, based on tabular and graphic representations of extracted community structures. Results confirm not only the enormous overall breadth of his influence but also how lasting and recurrent it has been in some areas.
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Keywords: geographic information science; knowledge visualization; scientometric analysis; spatialization

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA

Publication date: June 3, 2014

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