[From International Science Grid this week—BSA]
Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico have produced what they call the world's first "Map of Science" — a high-resolution graphic depiction of the virtual trails scientists leave behind whenever they retrieve information from online services.
The research, led by Johan Bollen of LANL, and his colleagues at the Santa Fe Institute, collected usage-log data gathered from a variety of publishers, aggregators, and universities from 2006 to 2008. Their collection totaled nearly 1 billion requests for online information. Because scientists usually read articles in online form well before they can be cited in print, usage data reveal scientific activity nearly in real-time, the map's creators say.
“This research will be a crucial component of future efforts to study and predict scientific innovation, as well novel methods to determine the true impact of articles and journals,” Bollen said to the Public Library of Science.