, Volume 70, Issue 3, pp 859-880

Mapping nanosciences by citation flows: A preliminary analysis

  • Elise BassecoulardAffiliated withLereco, INRA Email author 
  • , Alain LeluAffiliated withINRALASELDI, Universié de Franche-Comté, LASELDI
  • , Michel ZittAffiliated withLereco, INRAObservatoire des Sciences et des Techniques (OST)

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This article presents a citation-based mapping exercise in the nanosciences field and a first sketch of citation transactions (a measure of cognitive dependences). Nanosciences are considered to be one of the “convergent” components shaping the future of science and technology. Recurrent questions about the structure of the field concern its diversity and multi- or inter-disciplinarity. Observations made from various points of view confirm a strong differentiation of the field, which is scattered in multiple galaxies with moderate level of exchanges. The multi-disciplinarity of themes and super-themes detected by mapping also appears moderate, most of the super-themes being based on physics and chemistry in various proportions. Structural analysis of the list of references in articles suggests that the moderate multi-disciplinarity observed at the aggregate level partly stems from an actual inter-disciplinarity at the article level.