preprint version overlay toolkit for global science mapping

Loet Leydesdorff loet at LEYDESDORFF.NET
Wed Dec 16 14:32:17 EST 2009

Science overlay maps: a new tool for research policy and library management


Ismael Rafols, Alan L. Porter and Loet Leydesdorff


We present a novel approach to visually locate bodies of research within the
sciences, both at each moment of time and dynamically.  This article
describes how this approach fits with other efforts to locally and globally
map scientific outputs.  We then show how these science overlay maps help
benchmark, explore collaborations, and track temporal changes, using
examples of universities, corporations, funding agencies, and research
topics.  We address conditions of application, with their advantages,
downsides and limitations. Overlay maps especially help investigate the
increasing number of scientific developments and organisations that do not
fit within traditional disciplinary categories. We make these tools
accessible to help researchers explore the ongoing socio-cognitive
transformation of science and technology systems.


pdf at

html at 



Loet Leydesdorff 
Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR)
Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX Amsterdam.
Tel. +31-20-525 6598; fax: +31-842239111
 <mailto:loet at> loet at ;

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