The recent PLoS ONE article on interdisciplinary connections in science made me wish instantly for a way to map citation links between individuals at my institution.
So the authors of the article looked for connections among huge areas and journals. In practice, interdisciplinary collaboration is helped tremendously by individualized matchmaking. The clickstream data for Bollen et al is one example of “linkage” but there are others: Google Scholar can probably help connect scholars at individual institutions by the sources they use in common. The title is a misnomer: trying to follow sequential citations to find the grand-grand-grand-grand-grandciters of Thomas Kuhn would be overkill and impractical. First-level citation overlaps would identify individuals who share either substantive or methodological understandings.
I thought this was impossible until one fellow camper told me at the end of the day that there is a Google Scholar API available to academics. Woohoo! Is any enterprising programmer interested? Or someone who works at a DH center interested in getting this started? Or someone….
Incidentally, I suspect that there are many possible data sources (six degrees of Twitter @ refs?) and ways of working the practical uses of this (seeing detailed overlaps for two specified individuals, or identifying summary overlaps for groups of individuals at a university, in an organization, attending a conference, etc.).
And, finally, … yes, to answer the logical question by those at the last session today in the GMU Research I auditorium, the Bollen piece is catalogued in visualcomplexity.com.