Visual overviews for discovering key papers and influences across research fronts

TitleVisual overviews for discovering key papers and influences across research fronts
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsAris A, Shneiderman B, Qazvinian V, Radev D
JournalJournal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Pagination2219 - 2228
Date Published2009/11/01/
ISBN Number1532-2890

Gaining a rapid overview of an emerging scientific topic, sometimes called research fronts, is an increasingly common task due to the growing amount of interdisciplinary collaboration. Visual overviews that show temporal patterns of paper publication and citation links among papers can help researchers and analysts to see the rate of growth of topics, identify key papers, and understand influences across subdisciplines. This article applies a novel network-visualization tool based on meaningful layouts of nodes to present research fronts and show citation links that indicate influences across research fronts. To demonstrate the value of two-dimensional layouts with multiple regions and user control of link visibility, we conducted a design-oriented, preliminary case study with 6 domain experts over a 4-month period. The main benefits were being able (a) to easily identify key papers and see the increasing number of papers within a research front, and (b) to quickly see the strength and direction of influence across related research fronts.