In academic work, it is important to identify a specific domain of research. Many researchers may look to conference issues to determine interesting or new topics. Furthermore, conference issues can help researchers identify current research trends in their field and learn about cutting-edge developments in their area of specialization. However, so much conference information is published online that it can be difficult to navigate and analyze in a meaningful or productive way. Hence, the use of knowledge management (KM) could be a way to resolve these issues. In KM, ontology is widely adopted, but most ontology construction methods do not consider social information between target users. Therefore, this study aims to propose a novel method of constructing research topic maps using an open directory project (ODP) and social information.
The approach is to incorporate conference information (i.e. title, keywords and abstract) as sources and to consider the ways in which social information automatically produces research topic maps. The methodology can be divided into four modules: data collection, element extraction, social information analysis and visualization. The data collection module collects the required conference data from the internet and performs pre-processing. Then, the element extraction module extracts topics, associations and other basic elements of topic maps while considering social information. Finally, the results will be shown in the visualization module for researchers to browse and search.
The results of this study propose three main findings. First, creating topic maps with the ODP category information can help capture a richer set of classification associations. Second, social information should be considered when constructing topic maps. This study includes the relationship among different authors and topics to support information in social networks. By considering social information, such as co-authorship/collaborator, this method helps researchers find research topics that are unfamiliar but interesting or potential cooperative opportunities in the future. Third, this study presents topic maps that show a clear and simple pathway in interested domain knowledge.
Research limitations implications
First, this study analyzes and collects conference information, including the titles, keywords and abstracts of conference papers, so the data set must include all of the abovementioned information. Second, social information only analyzes co-authorship associations (collabship associations); other social information could be extracted in the future study. Third, this study only analyzes the associations between topics. The intensity of associations is not discussed in the study.
The study will have a great impact on learned societies because it bridges the gap between theory and practice. The study is useful for researchers who want to know which conferences are related to their research. Moreover, social networks can help researchers expand and diversify their research.
The research was based on work supported by the Taiwan Ministry of Science and Technology under Grant N. MOST 103-2410-H-006-055-MY3.
Wang, H., Chiang, Y. and Huang, Y. (2018), "Considering social information in constructing research topic maps", The Electronic Library, Vol. 36 No. 2, pp. 220-236. https://doi.org/10.1108/EL-10-2016-0230Download as .RIS
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