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Abstract

It is shown that the mapping of a particular area of science, in this case information science, can be done using authors as units of analysis and the cocitations of pairs of authors as the variable that indicates their “distances” from each other. The analysis assumes that the more two authors are cited together, the closer the relationship between them. The raw data are cocitation counts drawn online from Social Scisearch (Social Sciences Citation Index) over the period 1972–1979. The resulting map shows (1) identifiable author groups (akin to “schools”) of information science, (2) locations of these groups with respect to each other, (3) the degree of centrality and peripherality of authors within groups, (4) proximities of authors within group and across group boundaries (“border authors” who seem to connect various areas of research), and (5) positions of authors with respect to the map's axes, which were arbitrarily set spanning the most divergent groups in order to aid interpretation. Cocitation analysis of authors offers a new technique that might contribute to the understanding of intellectual structure in the sciences and possibly in other areas to the extent that those areas rely on serial publications. The technique establishes authors, as well as documents, as an effective unit in analyzing subject specialties.