Measuring Scholarly Impact

pp 285-320


Visualizing Bibliometric Networks

  • Nees Jan van EckAffiliated withCentre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University Email author 
  • , Ludo WaltmanAffiliated withCentre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University

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This chapter provides an introduction to the topic of visualizing bibliometric networks. First, the most commonly studied types of bibliometric networks (i.e., citation, co-citation, bibliographic coupling, keyword co-occurrence, and coauthorship networks) are discussed, and three popular visualization approaches (i.e., distance-based, graph-based, and timeline-based approaches) are distinguished. Next, an overview is given of a number of software tools that can be used for visualizing bibliometric networks. In the second part of the chapter, the focus is specifically on two software tools: VOSviewer and CitNetExplorer. The techniques used by these tools to construct, analyze, and visualize bibliometric networks are discussed. In addition, tutorials are offered that demonstrate in a step-by-step manner how both tools can be used. Finally, the chapter concludes with a discussion of the limitations and the proper use of bibliometric network visualizations and with a summary of some ongoing and future developments.