Submission to the PhD Committee to fulfill paper requirement
We analyze the entire publication database of the American Physical Society generating longitudinal (50 years) citation networks geolocalized at the level of single urban areas. We define the knowledge diffusion proxy, and scientific production ranking algorithms to capture the spatio-temporal dynamics of Physics knowledge worldwide. By using the knowledge diffusion proxy we identify the key cities in the production and consumption of knowledge in Physics as a function of time. The results from the scientific production ranking algorithm allow us to characterize the top cities for scholarly research in Physics. Although we focus on a single dataset concerning a specific field, the methodology presented here opens the path to comparative studies of the dynamics of knowledge across disciplines and research areas.
On April the tenth Qian Zhang will publish as first author the paper "Characterizing scientific production and consumption in Physics" as a regular article in Nature Scientific Reports.
This paper is the culmination of two years of work on the American Physical Society Journals database. Qian has been the leading force of this research paper. First he has developed a fine heuristics to geolocalize single papers by the affiliation field of more than 450,000 single articles. She was able in reaching a 97% success rate in the geolocalization. The APS dataset has been studied by many authors and this is the first time that such a precise geolocalization is carried out. Qian has then participated in the data analysis and the modeling. She has developed the ranking and knowledge diffusion proxy algorithms and devised very clever visualization techniques to exploit the data. She has written the first draft of the manuscript. The paper is a massive study that I believe will have an impact in the scientometric field. It is worth remarking that the paper goes along with a very long supplementary material (published in the journal) file that contains the detailed anlysis and techniques used in the paper. Qian has been the leading author also of the supplementary material file.
Nature Scientific Reports is the new open access journal of the Nature publishing group. It is now a very popular interdisciplinary journal. The journal has been launched in 2011 and its impact factor has not been released yet. The acceptance rate is about 55%. However it is not known if editorial rejections are included in the statistics. The acceptance rate is more stringent than the very similar open access journals Plos One (>65%). For the latter the IF is above 4.5 and it is listed as a top 10 multidisciplinary journal.