Bibliography network visualization and analysis
I don't know any bibliographic software able to visualize/analyze bibliographic relationships (authors, keywords, journals, citations, pagerank) as interactive networks with state of the art graph layouts, navigation, selection and analysis capabilities.
So... what about gradually implementing such features in Mendeley as a new and experimental set of bibliography mining tools?
Create a visualization mechanism where we can navigate through how are references using a graph-like method.
i.e. from a paper we could go quickly to one of its references and from that reference we could then navigate to all papers that reference it.
The papers to use in the graph could or not be filtered by the items we have in our library or by items a certain group of users has.
The possibility for this has been discussed with our Development Team for a future version of Mendeley.
Some time ago Reuters-Thomson has a product (now discontinued) named RefViz that based on OmniViz a metadata analyzing suite. The product was quite good and useful
With software like GraphViz this might be very little work to implement.
Goran Hajdin commented
Couldn't agree more. This feature would be really helpful, especially if Mendeley would allow analysis from custom set of papers (different scientific databases), opposed to papers from a single database (ie. Web of Science) which i find really limiting.
Ziyad Saeed commented
For now you can use Academic Map by Microsoft Academic research site
Alex Putman commented
Anonymous on March 5 2012: nice find, thanks for pointing that out.
The Papercube project appears to be much more powerful and I think exactly what every reference program or engine should have. It's been open sourced, but unfortunately doesn't look like anyone is developing it.
There is a relatively new reference manager out there which does this visualisation very well. It is called ColWiz (http://www.colwiz.com/).
Mendeley is much better overall but lacks the visualisation capability of Colwiz.
Great idea, should be possible by extraction articles cited by this paper from the articles website and addition by storing a user build network on the mendely servers. As a key the DOI field might be used.
I agree with Peter. Integration with VUE (like can be done with Zotero) would be great. You would be able to instantly sort and visualize your data, which would be great for creating relations between papers. For larger projects like writing a thesis, you could make a visual outline of the entire project like putting together a puzzle.
Scott Akenhead commented
This is an invitation for an overall interactive visual graphics interface to Mendeley. Its (going to be) an iPAD world out there, folks. You have worked hard on the user experience, but within the box of "database reports" rather than "instant gratification." Yes, Mendeley content is about text, but presentation and content are to be separated, a first principle of SW design.
what Peter said :)
> it would make it possible to record the relationship between two papers
Very good idea! Maybe to improve along with this...
You can do this with ISI web of knowledge.But would be nice to improve it in mendeley!
Chris Hughes commented
VUE has a plugin for Zotero can the same be done for Mendeley? I agree a concept map or visual way to link to mind mapping tools would be great.
Another use case for a visual map: given a topic that you are largely unfamiliar with when you begin research you want to find influential articles in the initial stages of the topics development as well as identify the cream of current research. A visual analysis of citations, pagerank, readership, etc, will help you make sensible judgements about witch papers to read to become familiar with the topic in the shortest possible time.
A general scenario for the use of a visual "mind map" centralized around a tag/collection (e.g., cellulose): 1. user can choose type of nodes forming the map around the topic (e.g., by author, by location, by laboratory/institution, etc.), 2. each node would have a number associated with it corresponding to number of references in the collection and/or with the tag, 3. connections between nodes would represent number of citations between nodes, Possible result: greater connectivity between certain nodes may visually generate natural subtopics (e.g., "characterization of cellulose structure" vs. "uses of cellulose" vs. "dissolution of cellulose", etc.) leading to a greater understanding of who (authors), where (countries, labs), etc. various aspects of the topic are most concentrated.
Benjamin Leblanc commented
Two others related feature requests also suggest that visualizing and interacting with the graph of citations is something one would naturally expect:
- "Automatically graph connections between papers in archive (i.e.,if paper A cites B,A is linked to B) "
- "Citation maps"
Still, important questions are why do we need a software like Mendeley to be able to handle a reference library as a network of publications and not just a list of tagged elements arranged in collections? and What do we finally want to get from such graphs?
In perspective, there's an article on Mendeley Blog from Jason Hoyt which draws possible directions on Mendeley development ( http://www.mendeley.com/blog/design-research-tools/what%E2%80%99s-relevant-to-me-right-now/ ).
Benjamin, I think you are right. I use The Brain as a Visual Information Management software and it's great! Files and folders are incapable of expressing the multi-dimensional relationships and concepts that give your information intelligence and meaning. So, creating subfolders, in my opinion, only makes it more difficult. However, the most important drawback of The Brain is that it is not a bibliographic software, so I cannot add my references (and PDFs) and I cannot insert them with only a click in my MS Word-file. It would be great to have the functionality of The Brain and Mendeley combined.
PS to save time, a possible mechanism would be integration with the open source software Visual Understanding Environment - http://vue.tufts.edu/ - they have a similar integration with Zotero.
If comments could be added to the graph links, it would make it possible to record the relationship between two papers, e.g. "This research was disproved by...".
These two feature requests are at least related:
- "Bibliography network visualization and analysis"
- "Create a graph of references"