Combining dissimilarity measure for the study of evolution in scientific fields

04/22/2021 ∙ by Lukun Zheng, et al. ∙ 0

The evolution of scientific fields has been attracting much attention in recent years. One of the key issues in evolution of scientific field is to quantify the dissimilarity between two collections of scientific publications in literature. Many existing works study the evolution based on one or two dissimilarity measures, despite the fact that there are many different dissimilarity measures. Finding the appropriate dissimilarity measures among such a collection of choices is of fundamental importance to the study of scientific evolution. In this article, we develop a new measure of the evolution combining twelve keyword-based temporal dissimilarities of the scientific fields using the method of principal component analysis. To demonstrate the usage of this new measure, we chose four scientific fields: environmental studies, information science library science, mechanical informatics, and religion. A database consisting of 274453 bibliographic records in these four chosen fields from 1991 to 2019 are built. The results show that all these four scientific fields share an overall decreasing trend in evolution from 1991 to 2019 and different fields exhibits different evolution patterns during different time periods.

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