A comparison of two techniques for bibliometric mapping: Multidimensional scaling and VOS



VOS is a new mapping technique that can serve as an alternative to the well-known technique of multidimensional scaling (MDS). We present an extensive comparison between the use of MDS and the use of VOS for constructing bibliometric maps. In our theoretical analysis, we show the mathematical relation between the two techniques. In our empirical analysis, we use the techniques for constructing maps of authors, journals, and keywords. Two commonly used approaches to bibliometric mapping, both based on MDS, turn out to produce maps that suffer from artifacts. Maps constructed using VOS turn out not to have this problem. We conclude that in general maps constructed using VOS provide a more satisfactory representation of a dataset than maps constructed using well-known MDS approaches.