Academic citations in a visual arrangement
February 2, 2010 8:52 PM   Subscribe

I want to be able to map visually how citations of a common academic article are linked in other ways.

I'm looking for a visual connecting and mapping system like Gnod or LivePlasma but for academic references.

Say for instance Jo Bloggs writes a very important article about online communities. Searching for academic articles about online communities, Google scholar shows Jo Bloggs' article first in the list, and notes that 100 people have cited her. John Smith, Kelly Brown and Kim Jones also have written good stuff and they follow her in the list.

I would like to see a visual mapping system that puts Jo Bloggs and her article in the centre, and surrounds her either wtih Smith, Brown and Jones OR with those people who have cited her article (which may well include Smith, Brown and Jones, of course).

Is there anything out there that does that? One of the reasons I want to see this is because I can not think of a reasonable analog way to track the citations of the citations of a work which has 160 known citations. Or hopefully in better English, if Bloggs has 160 citations, I'd like to see the next most important or most quoted article (and several layers down) about the same topic that also cites Bloggs, and the most quoted other authors.

It needn't be free, but it should be quite cheap. Is there anything that does this? Remember, visual connections, not just lists. And quoting Clyde Mnestra about LivePlasma, it should be able to"re-center the web by clicking on another displayed [academic] you liked"
posted by b33j to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Yeah, Peter Bergstrom and James Whitehead developed such a thing. They called it CircleView [pdf]. Unfortunately the demo is currently unavailable.

The follow-on project, PaperCube, is sort of CircleView plus. If you use the CircleView view mode, you can get basically what you're describing.
posted by jedicus at 9:11 PM on February 2, 2010

Response by poster: Oh no, this is perfect! It's fantastic and amazing! Except that it doesn't seem to include the Australian paper I'm particularly interested in, and I see no way to import it.
posted by b33j at 9:31 PM on February 2, 2010

Best answer: Sounds like you want the Citation Mapping feature of Web of Science, which is part of the ISI Web of Knowledge -- but this isn't a free (or, I think, a feasibly buyable by a single consumer) index, but should be available from any university or large city library. Here's the web link that would authenticate you via IP if you are in one of these institutions.
posted by brainmouse at 9:49 PM on February 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yeah, PaperCube is more of a proof of concept. Its database is from 2004, so it's not for real research, I'm afraid.
posted by jedicus at 9:55 PM on February 2, 2010

Response by poster: I've now accessed the Web of Science through one of my university log-ins, and after PaperCube it's pretty sad. It certainly offers different features to Google Scholar, and is a useful product, thank you.

Anything else? Anybody else? Is there something I can co-opt, you think, by cutting and pasting information?
posted by b33j at 10:18 PM on February 2, 2010

Response by poster: Actually Web of Science isn't so bad if you can find a reference that the system knows has been cited by others (but it's still not as cute as PaperCube).
posted by b33j at 10:28 PM on February 2, 2010

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