, Volume 14, Issue 3–4, pp 251–264 | Cite as

Policy and the mapping of scientific change: A co-word analysis of research into environmental acidification

  • J. Law
  • S. Bauin
  • J. -P. Courtial
  • J. Whittaker


This paper describes recent developments in the co-word method and illustrates, for the case of acid rain research, the way in which the method can be used to detect (a) the themes of research to be found in a given area of science, (b) the relationships between those themes, (c) the extent to which they are central to the area in question and (d) the degree to which they are internally structured. It is also suggested that the method may be used to draw comparative research profiles for different countries. Though the data used are only preliminiary, it is argued that the method has now been developed to the point where its results are both quite robust and easily assimilable. It is, accordingly, now an appropriate tool for policy analysis.


Acid Rain Policy Analysis Environmental Acidification Comparative Research Scientific Change 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Notes and references

  1. 1.
    M. CALLON, J. LAW, A. RIP (Ed.),Mapping the Dynamics of Science and Technology: the Sociology of Science in the Real World, London, Macmillan, 1986.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    P. HEALEY, H. ROTHMAN, P. K. HOCH, An experiment in science mapping for research planning,Research Policy, 15 (1986) 233.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    S. BAUIN, B. MICHELET,Comprende la Réaction Chimique: Etude des Tendances Internationales par la Méthode Leximappe, CDST-CNRS, Paris, 1987.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    J.-P. COURTIAL, Artificial intelligence networks: The contribution of the co-word analysis method to the study of a scientific field,Social Studies of Science, 18 (1988) forthcoming.Google Scholar
  5. 13.
    A. RIP, A cognitive approach to science policy,Research Policy, 10 (1981) 294.Google Scholar
  6. 14.
    M. CALLON, Some elements of a sociology of translation: Domenstication of the scallops and fishermen of St. Brieuc Bay, inPower, Action and Belief: a New Sociology of Knowledge?, J. LAW (Ed.), Sociological Review Monograph 32, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1986, 196–233.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Law
    • 1
  • S. Bauin
    • 2
  • J. -P. Courtial
    • 3
  • J. Whittaker
    • 4
  1. 1.Unit for Technology Analysis and Department of Sociology, Social Anthropology and Social WorkUniversity of KeeleKeeleUK
  2. 2.Centre de Documentation Scientifique et TechniqueParisFrance
  3. 3.Centre de Sociologie de l'InnovationEcole Nationale Superieure des MinesParisFrance
  4. 4.Department of Sociology, Social Anthropology and Social WorkUniversity of KeeleKeeleUK

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