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Title: Analysis of citation networks as a new tool for scientific research

The rapid growth of scientific publications necessitates new methods to understand the direction of scientific research within fields of study, ascertain the importance of particular groups, authors, or institutions, compute metrics that can determine the importance (centrality) of particular seminal papers, and provide insight into the social (collaboration) networks that are present. We present one such method based on analysis of citation networks, using the freely available CiteSpace Program. We use citation network analysis on three examples, including a single material that has been widely explored in the last decade (BiFeO 3), two small subfields with a minimal number of authors (flexoelectricity and Kitaev physics), and a much wider field with thousands of publications pertaining to a single technique (scanning tunneling microscopy). Interpretation of the analysis and key insights into the fields, such as whether the fields are experiencing resurgence or stagnation, are discussed, and author or collaboration networks that are prominent are determined. Such methods represent a paradigm shift in our way of dealing with the large volume of scientific publications and could change the way literature searches and reviews are conducted, as well as how the impact of specific work is assessed.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Drexel Univ., Philadelphia, PA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
MRS Bulletin
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 41; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 0883-7694
Materials Research Society
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING; ferroelectricity; BiFeO3; scanning probe microscopy (SPM); electronic material
OSTI Identifier: