Mapping of research fields – what is it?

There are presently two ways that we use to identify the research fields of individual articles. One is to use the Thomson Reuters journal subject field as a proxy for article content. This method is very often used in bibliometric studies. But in medicine, many of the publications also have MeSH terms, the controlled vocabulary from Medline. These are much more specific and are often used at Karolinska Institutet.

An analysis of the journal categories of a unit's/person's publications gives an indication of which areas the analyzed unit is active in. From this type of analysis, it is also possible to identify the type of audience that can be expected to read, and potentially cite, the publications. It can be used as the basis for a discussion about whether this is where you want to publish and be seen.

An analysis of the MeSH terms is much more specific and can help you see how your publications are shown in an international database like Medline, ie what MeSH terms other researchers need to use to find your publications. If you are not familiar with the analyzed group, a MeSH term analysis may show what major and peripheral aspects of research the group is involved in.

Combined with information about individual authors and/or organizations we can produce maps that show what factions co-publish in which certain areas.

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