Patterns of connections and movements in dual-map overlays: A new method of publication portfolio analysis

Chaomei Chen, Loet Leydesdorff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

222 Citations (Scopus)


Portfolio analysis of the publication profile of a unit of interest, ranging from individuals and organizations to a scientific field or interdisciplinary programs, aims to inform analysts and decision makers about the position of the unit, where it has been, and where it may go in a complex adaptive environment. A portfolio analysis may aim to identify the gap between the current position of an organization and a goal that it intends to achieve or identify competencies of multiple institutions. We introduce a new visual analytic method for analyzing, comparing, and contrasting characteristics of publication portfolios. The new method introduces a novel design of dual-map thematic overlays on global maps of science. Each publication portfolio can be added as one layer of dual-map overlays over 2 related, but distinct, global maps of science: one for citing journals and the other for cited journals. We demonstrate how the new design facilitates a portfolio analysis in terms of patterns emerging from the distributions of citation threads and the dynamics of trajectories as a function of space and time. We first demonstrate the analysis of portfolios defined on a single source article. Then we contrast publication portfolios of multiple comparable units of interest; namely, colleges in universities and corporate research organizations. We also include examples of overlays of scientific fields. We expect that our method will provide new insights to portfolio analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-351
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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