*****  To join INSNA, visit  *****

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 

** apologies for cross-posting


Loet Leydesdorff 
Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR)
Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX Amsterdam.
Tel. +31-20-525 6598; fax: +31-842239111
[log in to unmask] ; 


SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
network researchers ( To unsubscribe, send
an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.