Interactive overlays of journals and the measurement of interdisciplinarity on the basis of aggregated journal-journal citations

Loet Leydesdorff, Ismael Rafols, Chaomei Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


Using the option Analyze Results with the Web of Science, one can directly generate overlays onto global journal maps of science. The maps are based on the 10,000+ journals contained in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR) of the Science and Social Sciences Citation Indices (2011). The disciplinary diversity of the retrieval is measured in terms of Rao-Stirling's "quadratic entropy" (Izsák & Papp, 1995). Since this indicator of interdisciplinarity is normalized between 0 and 1, interdisciplinarity can be compared among document sets and across years, cited or citing. The colors used for the overlays are based on Blondel, Guillaume, Lambiotte, and Lefebvre's (2008) community-finding algorithms operating on the relations among journals included in the JCR. The results can be exported from VOSViewer with different options such as proportional labels, heat maps, or cluster density maps. The maps can also be web-started or animated (e.g., using PowerPoint). The "citing" dimension of the aggregated journal-journal citation matrix was found to provide a more comprehensive description than the matrix based on the cited archive. The relations between local and global maps and their different functions in studying the sciences in terms of journal literatures are further discussed: Local and global maps are based on different assumptions and can be expected to serve different purposes for the explanation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2573-2586
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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