Visualizing Microhistory, by Eugene Garfield

Originally published December 24, 2004

There is a large literature on mapping and visualizing scholarly literature.  However, none of these methods have been used to create historical displays of works on a given subject. We have developed patented software called HistCite,TM which generates historiographs from bibliographic collections obtained from literature searches.

From a search of the ISI Web of Science or ISI Citation Indexes (SCI, SSCI, and/or A&HCI) on CD-ROM, an export file is created which contains the complete source document including all the cited references. These bibliographic collections are processed by the HistCite software in order to generate chronological and other ranked tables of source or cited authors, source or cited journals or words. In addition, historiographs are created at various thresholds of citation which highlight the most cited works, both inside and outside the collection.

HistCite also contains a module for detecting and editing errors or variations in cited references.

Ideally, the system will help the searcher quickly identify the most significant work on a topic and track its year-by-year historical development.

A wide range of collections have been processed. These can be found, together with a User Guide, at:

ASIS&T members interested in evaluating the software can join a volunteer evaluator group. Please contact me for more information on this at .

Eugene Garfield, Chairman Emeritus ISI