, Volume 90, Issue 3, pp 1015–1026 | Cite as

The organization of scientific knowledge: the structural characteristics of keyword networks

  • Sangyoon Yi
  • Jinho ChoiEmail author


The understanding of scientific knowledge itself may promote further advances in science and research on the organization of knowledge may be an initiative to this effort. This stream of research, however, has been mainly driven by the analysis of citation networks. This study uses, as an alternative knowledge element, information on the keywords of papers published in business research and examines how they are associated with each other to constitute a body of scientific knowledge. The results show that, unlike most citation networks, keyword networks are not small-word networks but, rather, locally clustered scale-free networks with a hierarchic structure. These structural patterns are robust against the scope of scientific fields involved. In addition, this paper discusses the origins and implications of the identified structural characteristics of keyword networks.


Organization of knowledge Keyword network Small-world network Power-law distribution Hierarchy 



This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea Government (MEST) (No. 2009-0070359).


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Marketing and ManagementUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdense MDenmark
  2. 2.School of BusinessSejong UniversitySeoulKorea

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