Patterns in scholarly publications online: Erdős and beyond

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Information about Patterns in scholarly publications online: Erdős and beyond

Published on April 20, 2014

Author: jpbowen



Developing and monitoring communities has become increasingly easy on the web as the number of interactive facilities and amount of data available about communities increases. It is possible to view connections and patterns on social and professional networks in the form of mathematical graphs. It is also possible to visualise connections between authors of academic papers. For example, Google Scholar, Microsoft Academic Search, and, etc., now have large corpuses of freely available information on publications, together with author and citation details, that can be accessed and presented in a number of ways. In mathematical circles, the concept of the Erdős number has been introduced in honour of the Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdős, measuring the "collaborative distance" of a person away from Erdős through links by co-author. Similar metrics have been proposed in other fields. The possibility of exploring and improving the presentation of such links online in computer science and other fields will be presented as a means of improving the outreach and impact of academic publications. Some practical guidance on what is worthwhile in presenting publication information online will be given.

Patterns in scholarly publications online: Erdős and beyond Prof. Jonathan P. Bowen Birmingham City University Museophile Limited, UK

Introduction • Prof. Jonathan Bowen • Mathematics, art, engineering, computer science, software engineering, museum informatics • Career: Oxford, Reading, LSBU (Emeritus) • Visitor: King’s College London, Brunel, Westminster, Waikato (New Zealand, 2011), Pratt Institute (New York, USA, 2012) • From September 2013: Professor of Computer Science at Birmingham City Univ.

Overview • Communities • Visualization • Publications • Co-authorship • Citations • Databases – Google Scholar – Microsoft Academic Search – Penrose tiles

Patterns “The way is long if one follows precepts, but short ... If one follows patterns.” – Seneca (c.4 BC – AD 65)

Community of Practice • CoP: collection of people developing domain knowledge • Elements: –Domain, common interest –Community, willing to engage together –Practice, developing new knowledge • A brief introduction by Etienne Wenger, 2006:

Cultivating a CoP Different levels of participation: • Coordinator(s) • Active members • Peripheral members • Outsiders

Bow tie effect Visualization Example – two communities (arts and science) Facebook TouchGraph connections

Google First webserver, 1999 – already in a museum! Technology

Google • Museum label

Google Scholar • – publications & citations • h-index (top h publications with h or more citations) • i10-index (at least 10 citations)

h-index Top h publications with h or more citations

h-index Top cited h papers with h or more citations.

i10-index Papers with 10 (or n) or more citations.

Patterns of publications • Humanities: books, some journals • Established sciences: journals, short papers, fast publication (months) • Computer science: conferences, then journals, long papers, slow publication (years!)

Microsoft Academic Search • • Publications, citations, h-index • g-index (top g with a total of at least g2 citations)

g-index Top g with a total of at least g2 citations

g-index Top cited g papers with a total of at least g2 citations.

Top 30 co- authors as measured by the number of publications Academic Search co-author graph

Patterns of co-authorship • Humanities: single authors • Computer science: small numbers • Chemistry: larger numbers (e.g., 10) • Physics: Even larger (can be 100s)

Academic Search citation graph • Top 34 authors by number of citations

Patterns of citations • Humanities: footnotes • Computer science: references • Self-citations – increase other citations • Gender differences

Interdisciplinary citations • Citations between fields

Fake citations! • “Ike Antake” experiment • 100 “papers”, all cross-cited • H-index > Einstein!

• 100 cross-citations Ike Antake citation experiment

Using Scholarometer – up to 97 citations Ike Antake measured citations

Citations model • Journals, works, authors

coauthors / citingauthors Co-authors and citing authors.

Supervisors and students Alonzo Church and Alan Turing Academic Search genealogy graph See also Mathematics Genealogy website

Alan Turing (23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954) • Centenary year in 2012 – • Andrew Hodges (Turing biographer) – Alan Turing: the Enigma (1983) – • The Turing Digital Archive (3,000 images) – King’s College Cambridge – • Jack Copeland’s Turing Archive (facsimiles) –

Turing’s Worlds (23–24 June 2012) • Department of Continuing Education, University of Oxford – Ivor Grattan- Guinness et al.

Happy Birthday Alan Turing! • Also Ivor Grattan-Guinness, historian of mathematics and logic (born 23 June 1941)

Turing citations Google Scholar Small number of influential papers – c. 5 citations per day – few co-authors

Turing’stop10papersGoogle Scholar Theoretical computer science Artificial Intelligence Bioinformatics 1952 1948

Alan Turing – 2014 • 60th anniversary of Turing’s death – 7 June 2014. • Talk at BCS, London on Thursday 5 June 2014. • See also Gresham College: turing-the-founder-of-computer-science

The Turing Guide • Book due in 2015 • To be published by Oxford University Press • Edited by Jonathan Bowen, Jack Copeland, Mark Sprevak, and Robin Wilson • c.40 chapters by contributors largely from Oxford, Cambridge, Bletchley Park meetings


The Erdős number • Paul Erdős (1913–1996) – Hungarian mathematician –ős – Erdős number 0 – Co-authored over 1,000 publications • 511 co-authors – Erdős number 1 – Co-authors of Erdős co-authors • Erdős number 2 • Etc.

ErdosNumber Relationship of an author with Paul Erdos.

Academic Search co-author path Robin Wilson, mathematician and EVA London 2012 co-author

The Bacon number • Kevin Bacon (born 1958), film and theatre actor • Cf. Erdős number, but for film credits • “Erdős–Bacon number”ős–Bacon_number Sum of person’s Erdős/Bacon numbers (as low as three!) • Further numbers for other fields? • Academic networking website • Cf. LinkedIn (professional networking) • Includes affiliation to university and department • Allows easy addition of books, papers, answers, talks, teaching documents, research interests, CV, status updates, websites, etc. • Add keywords for publication searching • Monitoring of access statistics home page E.g., statistics E.g., search engine accesses E.g., document accesses Last 30 days document accesses Last 30 days top documents Last 30 days keyword searches Last 30 days country accesses Last 30 days top country accesses Last 30 days

Non-free citations websites • E.g., Web of Knowledge • Thomson Reuters: • UK: • OK if your university subscribes • But not all do ...

Free publications websites • ACM Digital Library – CS professional body • BibSonomy – social bookmark and publication sharing system • CiteSeerX – publications database • DBLP – CS bibliography, individual effort • Issuu – personal documents (PDF, ...) • Mendeley – reference manager, academic social network • ResearchGate – for scientists, make your work visible, 1.7 million members • Researchr – find, collect, share, review scientific publications

ACM Digital Library • Computer science professional body • Editable personal publications page •

ACM Digital Library Personal page features

DBLP – Computer Science Bibliography • University project – personal publications page • Major computer science journals and conferences •

DBLP – Computer Science Bibliography • University project – personal publications page • Major computer science journals and conferences •


Mendeley – Professional networking, managing/sharing papers

Mendeley – Professional networking, managing/sharing papers

Mendeley – Professional networking, managing/sharing papers

Summary “If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?” – Albert Einstein (1879–1955) • Plethora of sites • Check you profile on a selection • Choose one or two effective ones

Patterns “There are only patterns, patterns on top of patterns, patterns that affect other patterns. Patterns hidden by patterns. Patterns within patterns. ... What we call chaos is just patterns we haven't recognized. What we call random is just patterns we can't decipher.” – Chuck Palahniuk (b. 1962)

Conclusion Prof. Jonathan Bowen • – virtual community • Academic Search – visualisation • Google Scholar – visibility

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