Scientific Information (Papers)

Session chair: Jacek Gwizdka


Two Views of the Data Documentation Initiative: Stakeholders, Collaboration and Metadata Standards Creation
Rachel D. Williams, Kalpana Shankar, & Kristin Eschenfelder

This paper uses boundary work theory (Gieryn, 1983, among others) to analyze the differences in organizational participation in the creation and maintenance of the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) standard. The Data Documentation Initiative is a global consensus standard created to describe social science research data. Specifically, the paper addresses how two key Social Science Data Archives (SSDA), the Interuniversity Consortium of Political and Social Research (ICPSR) and the United Kingdom Data Archive (UKDA) mobilized their differences as resources to create DDI. This paper describes the collaborative activities of the two organizations. It also analyzes how those differences in collaboration resulted in boundary or “juncture” activities, and the role those activities played in organizational maintenance. Our study compares how one organization, ICPSR, engaged in translating and aligning activities related to the development of the standard, while the other data archive, UKDA, engaged in decentering activities. The paper uses this case of standards work to reflect on the role of boundaries as resources for organizational resilience over the long-term.
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Disciplinary Assessment of Scientific Content by Higher-Order Citation Mining
Mikel Bahn & Sergej Sizov

Discovery of disciplinary fields, their relationships, and key contributors is an important research field of modern scientometrics. In this contribution, we study the problem of disciplinary / interdisciplinary interpretation of scientific content in the context of higher-order citation graphs. In doing so, we introduce the general approach for representing scientific publishers (conferences, journals) and their relationships by means of multi-dimensional tensor models. Consequently, tensor decomposition methods allow us to identify scientific fields in terms of key authorities, hubs, and topical context expressed by keywords and/or fields of study.

The proposed strategy of tensor importance sampling allows for efficient and effective analysis of large-scale publication databases in state-of-the art cloud computing infrastructures. Consequently, we present results of our large-scale evaluations for the Microsoft Academic Graph dataset with various tensor modeling strategies, in direct comparison with state of the art content mining and graph mining methods common to the scientometric domain.

The comprehensive comparative analysis shows that tensor-based interpretations show considerable agreement with established content mining methods and graph-based authority ranking. At the same time, tensor based analysis allows for discovery of novel inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary fields, which are focused on subjects of investigation rather than on established methodologies and strongly connected research communities. In this sense, our approach complements existing mining methods for scientific content, and allows for novel insights into research collaboration patterns.
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Critical Moments in Participatory Design: Engaging NASA Astrobiology Researchers via Scientometric Visualizations
Rich Gazan

NASA astrobiology researchers from diverse fields often have little sense of how their work relates to one another. Using document analysis and participatory design methods, this paper reports on a scientometric analysis project to distill essential elements of astrobiology documents to identify them across diverse domains. Twelve NASA astrobiology researchers and administrators were presented with scientometric visualizations in a live setting, and (i) demonstrated engagement by actively proposing alternative terms they felt best represented their team’s research, (ii) confirmed that the effects of 2007-2008 cuts in research funding had been accurately reflected in the document corpus, and (iii) identified persistent differential impacts on research output across astrobiology’s diverse constituent disciplines. The results suggest that this participatory design method provided a critical boundary space where conversations between diverse researchers took place that would have been unlikely to occur otherwise, and illustrates the kind of unique contribution information science researchers and professionals can make to interdisciplinary scientific collaborations.

Paper Sessions
Date: October 31, 2017 Time: 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm Rachel D. Williams Rich Gazan Mikel Bahn