Using of co-word analysis method in mapping of the structure of scientific fields(case study: The field of Informetrics)




Based on the co-occurrence analysis method, the scientific fields can be extracted and the relationships between them can be detected directly from their subject content. With this view, the aim of this study is to determine of the subfields of informetrics and the relationships between of these subfields, and thus to investigate the efficiency of this method and its application in mapping of the structure of scientific fields.This is an applied study using scientometrics, co-word analysis and network analysis methods. in order to determine the main concepts in the field of informetrics, all the scientific papers of international scholars in this field were extracted from WOS (included ٧٣٧٥ record from 1991 to 2012). Then after refining and standardizing of the keywords of these articles, a selected list of these keywords was prepared. Using the results of the data analysis, the trend in publication growth in the field of informetrics and each of its subfields was identified.Then the thematic maps were drawn using Vosviewer and Nodexl software. The resulting data of the maps and the structure of the formed clusters and their inter-relationships have been analysed. Based on the resulted maps the concepts such as information science, library, bibliometric analysis, innovation and text mining are the most widely used topics in the field of informetrics. The co-word occurrence maps drawn at the different time periods show the changes and stabilities in the concepts and terms related to the field of informetrics. Some words like "bibliometric analysis" are present in all the studied years, while others disappear over time. In interacting with developments and new technologies, the new concepts can be created.