Mapping the diffusion of scholarly knowledge among major U.S. research institutions

TitleMapping the diffusion of scholarly knowledge among major U.S. research institutions
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsBörner, Katy, Shashikant Penumarthy, Mark Meiss, and Weimao Ke
Date Published12

This paper reports the results of a large scale data analysis that aims to identify the production, diffusion, and consumption of scholarly knowledge among top research institutions in the United States. A 20-year publication data set was analyzed to identify the 500 most cited research institutions and spatio-temporal changes in their inter-citation patterns. A novel approach to analyzing the dual role of institutions as producers and consumers of scholarly knowledge and to study the diffusion of knowledge among them is introduced. A geographic visualization metaphor is used to visually depict the production and consumption of knowledge. The highest producers and their consumers as well as the highest consumers and their producers are identified and mapped. Surprisingly, the introduction of the Internet does not seem to affect the distance over which scholarly knowledge diffuses as manifested by citation links. The citation linkages between institutions fall off with the distance between them, and there is a strong linear relationship between the log of the citation counts and the log of the distance. The paper concludes with a discussion of these results and future work.