, Volume 87, Issue 2, pp 373–388 | Cite as

Interpreting maps of science using citation context sentiments: a preliminary investigation

  • Henry Small


It is proposed that citation contexts, the text surrounding references in scientific papers, be analyzed in terms of an expanded notion of sentiment, defined to include attitudes and dispositions toward the cited work. Maps of science at both the specialty and global levels are used as the basis of this analysis. Citation context samples are taken at these levels and contrasted for the appearance of cue word sets, analyzed with the aid of methods from corpus linguistics. Sentiments are shown to vary within a specialty and can be understood in terms of cognitive and social factors. Within-specialty and between-specialty co-citations are contrasted and in some cases suggest a correlation of sentiment with structural location. For example, the sentiment of “uncertainty” is important in interdisciplinary co-citation links, while “utility” is more prevalent within the specialty. Suggestions are made for linking sentiments to technical terms, and for developing sentiment “baselines” for all of science.


Citation contexts Maps of science Sentiment analysis Corpus linguistics 


  1. Argamon, S., Dodick, J., & Chase, P. (2008). Language use reflects scientific methodology: A corpus-based study of peer-reviewed journal articles. Scientometrics, 75(2), 203–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Börner, K., Chen, C. M., & Boyack, K. W. (2003). Visualizing knowledge domains. Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, 37, 179–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Charles, M. (2006). Phraseological patterns in reporting clauses used in citation: A corpus based study of theses in two disciplines. English for Specific Purposes, 25(3), 310–331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chen, C., Ibekwe-SanJuan, F., & Hou, J. (2010). The structure and dynamics of cocitation clusters: A multiple-perspective cocitation analysis. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 61(7), 1386–1409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chubin, D. E., & Moitra, S. D. (1975). Content analysis of references: Adjunct or alternative to citation counting? Social Studies of Science, 5, 423–441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cohen, J. (1968). Weighted kappa: Nominal scale agreement with provision for scale disagreement or partial credit. Psychological Bulletin, 70, 213–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cozzens, S. E. (1985). Comparing the sciences: Citation context analysis of papers from neurophramacology and the sociology of science. Social Studies of Science, 15(1), 127–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Finney, B. (1979). The reference characteristics of scientific texts. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. The City University of London.Google Scholar
  9. Hargens, L. L. (2000). Using the literature: Reference networks, reference contexts, and the social structure of scholarship. American Sociological Review, 65(6), 846–865.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Harwood, N. (2009). An interview based study of the functions of citations in academic writing across two disciplines. Journal of Pragmatics, 41(3), 497–518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hyland, K. (1998). Hedging in scientific research articles. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  12. Khan, K., Baharudin, B.B., Khan, A. & Faxal-e-Malik. (2009). Mining opinion from text documents: a survey. In 2009 3rd IEEE International Conference on Digital Ecosystems and Technologies (pp. 194–199). New York: IEEE.Google Scholar
  13. Klavans, R., & Boyack, K. W. (2009). Toward a consensus map of science. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 60(3), 455–476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kuhn, T. S. (1970). The structure of scientific revolutions (2nd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  15. Kuhn, T. S. (2000). The road since structure, Chap. 4. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  16. Latour, B., & Woolgar, S. (1979). Laboratory life: The social construction of scientific facts. Beverly Hills, California: Sage.Google Scholar
  17. Losee, J. (1972). A historical introduction to the philosophy of science. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Moravcsik, M., & Murugesan, P. (1975). Some results on the function and quality of citations. Social Studies of Science, 5, 86–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Paquot, M., & Bestgen, Y. (2009). Distinctive words in academic writing: A comparison of three statistical tests for keyword extraction. Corpora: Pragmatics and Discourse, 68, 247–269.Google Scholar
  20. Schneider, J. W. (2006). Concept symbols revisited: Naming clusters by parsing and filtering of noun phrases from citation contexts of concept symbols. Scientometrics, 68(3), 573–593.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Scott, M. (2010). WordSmith Tools Step by Step.
  22. Small, H. (1978). Cited documents as concept symbols. Social Studies of Science, 8, 237–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Small, H. (1986). Synthesis of specialty narratives from co-citation clusters. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 37(3), 97–110.Google Scholar
  24. Small, H. (2010). Maps of science as interdisciplinary discourse: Co-citation contexts and the role of analogy. Scientometrics, 83, 835–849.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Small, H., & Upham, P. (2009). Citation structure of an emerging research area on the verge of application. Scientometrics, 79(2), 365–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Swales, J. M. (1990). Genera analysis: English in academic and research settings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Teufel, S. (2010). The structure of scientific articles: Applications to citation indexing and summarization. Stanford, California: CSLI Publications.Google Scholar
  28. Verlic, M., Stiglic, G., Kocbek, S. & Kokol, P. (2008). Sentiment in science: a case study of CBMS contributions in years 2003 to 2007. In: 21st IEEE International Symposium on Computer Based Medical Systems (pp. 138–143). New York: IEEE.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Thomson ReutersPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.SciTech Strategies, IncBerwynUSA

Personalised recommendations